A new $1.15 million grants program has been set up in Victoria to support local councils in their efforts to respond to the challenges of climate change.

The Victorian Climate Change Grants 2015 will extend support to Victoria’s councils as they help their local communities and businesses prepare for climate change. A critical contributor to addressing climate change, Victoria’s local government sector has already made significant progress in driving local action.

Councils can use these grants to drive local climate change action including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making effective decisions on increasing resilience of services and assets.

The Victorian Climate Change Grants 2015 program consists of a competitive round of grants open to all councils with amounts ranging from $20,000 to $80,000, and a non-competitive round of grants of up to $10,000 specifically for resource-constrained councils.

To be eligible for the Victorian Climate Change Grants 2015 all projects must:

  • align with at least one of the two priority streams
  • Priority Stream 1 - Supporting the most vulnerable to respond to climate change
  • Priority Stream 2 - Promoting innovation and opportunities in climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • be implemented in Victoria;
  • address priorities stated in a council strategic document relating to councils’ action on climate change, or be clearly identified as adding value to what councils are already doing as part of climate change actions, or be a part of future climate change planning;
  • not be in contravention of any national or state legislative requirements and Government policies;
  • be able to clearly articulate the activities and benefits relevant to local government priorities and climate change outcomes sought by the grants program;
  • have a funding agreement in place within 90 days of the funding announcement; · be completed within two years of signing the funding agreement;
  • be submitted with a project budget and request for funding that is consistent with the level of funding available for each category;
  • be discussed with the Victorian Climate Change Grants 2015 support officer from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP);
  • and have a signed letter of commitment from the Chief Executive Officer, or delegate (also applies to all parties if partnership is formed)

Applications for the Victorian Climate Change Grants 2015 close on 29 December 2015.

More information is available here.

Observing that the impacts of climate change are real, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville explains that the local government needs their support to take advantage of the opportunities for jobs, growth, cleaner industries and more liveable communities. 

Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins adds that many local councils have a fantastic record of working with their communities to tackle climate change and the announcement of the grants program will help further that work.