The Community Safety Infrastructure Grants (CSIG) program guidelines provide important information on the requirements of the program and funded projects. You should read the program guidelines before you start your application.

This document has been prepared to provide additional information that can help you to understand the types of applications we are looking for and to answer some of the questions you might have.

If you can’t find the information you need in either the program guidelines or this document, please contact the Grants Information Line on 1300 221 249 from 8:30am to 5:00pm weekdays or email the department at communitycrimeprevention@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

Grant objectives

1. What kinds of projects will be funded through the Community Safety Infrastructure Grants program?

The CSIG program is a one-off funding opportunity that is part of the government’s $2.7 billion Building Works package aimed at getting thousands of Victorians back to work and assisting communities to recover from the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.

Projects are eligible that have an economic stimulus benefit, and that increase community and public safety and security, including:

  • infrastructure projects that increase the safety and use of community spaces (for example, infrastructure upgrades to community centres, sporting facilities, and parks)
  • projects to increase the security of community or public spaces, including for example security upgrades to places of worship, and measures to counter violent extremism such as ‘vehicle as a weapon’ measures (e.g. streetscaping or bollards).

Up to 20 per cent of the total grant can go towards reasonable design-related and project management costs, as well as complementary activity to strengthen the crime prevention impact of the infrastructure such as community education or place-activation activities.

Information to assist you in prepare a high quality application is available on our website at crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/communityinfrastructuregrants (External link) This includes the program guidelines, fact sheets, and featured projects. You are strongly encouraged to read support material related to your project idea when preparing your application.

2. How is the Community Safety Infrastructure Grants program different from the Public Safety Infrastructure Fund?

This grants program differs from the Public Safety Infrastructure Fund in a few key ways:

  • it is open to both Victorian councils and not-for-profit organisations, including for example community groups, charitable organisations and social enterprises
  • Grants of between $25,000 and $500,000 are available
  • the economic stimulus benefit of the project must be outlined (see question 3 below).

Given the economic impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency on the community, co-contributions are strongly encouraged but are not mandatory for this program. Likewise, formal project evaluations are not mandatory, but applicants are encouraged to include an evaluation component where possible. All projects will be required to report on the progress and outcomes of their initiative.

3. What are the ‘economic stimulus’ requirements for projects?

Applications must clearly outline the economic stimulus impact of projects (including the creation of employment opportunities), as well as their contribution to increased community safety and security. All tenderers for projects funded by this grant program will be required to find new employees through Working for Victoria in the first instance. Councils that are approved for funding through the CSIG program should include this requirement in tender specifications.

The Victorian Government established the Working for Victoria initiative to help the community and contribute to Victoria’s ability to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. Working for Victoria supports jobseekers to find work and access online training, and helps employers to find workers fast, with the skills and experience they need.

In addition, applications that seek to engage the types of businesses and social enterprises covered by the government’s Social Procurement Framework will be prioritised. Further information on the Working for Victoria scheme can be found at: vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria (External link)

Further information on the Social Procurement Framework can be found at: buyingfor.vic.gov.au/social-procurement-victorian-government-approach (External link)

4. What is a ‘shovel-ready’ project?

Your project should be ready to start as soon as possible after funding is confirmed. The amount of time needed to start your project will be considered when your application is assessed. Projects that require lengthy planning or design work are unlikely to be recommended for funding.

The CSIG program provides an opportunity to seek funding for a pre-existing proposal or previously identified need that is not able to be funded from your organisation’s budget.

5. Is the Community Safety Infrastructure Grants program only to support economic recovery?

While creating employment opportunities and supporting economic recovery is one of the main objectives of the grants, the program has a strong focus on crime prevention, and community safety and security. Your application will need to demonstrate how the proposed infrastructure addresses an identified crime, security or safety issue in the community.

Applications that include initiatives to build social cohesion, increase community confidence, involve the community in the design and test innovative approaches will increase your chance of success. These factors are known to enhance community safety and security and prevent crime. We encourage you to consider these factors when developing your project idea. We also encourage organisations to consider developing a proposal in partnership with another organisation to bring together relevant expertise to deliver impactful projects.

6. Will you run the Community Safety Infrastructure Grants program in 2021-22?

At this stage, the CSIG program is a one-off initiative as part of the government’s package to support communities to recover from coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. Future grant funding opportunities through the Community Crime Prevention Program will be advertised on the government’s website at vic.gov.au/grants (External link) or on the Community Crime Prevention Program website at crimeprevention.vic.gov.au (External link)

Eligibility

7. What is defined as ‘infrastructure’?

For the purposes of this program, infrastructure refers to costs associated with the purchase and installation of infrastructure, specifically related to safety or security.

This may include for example locks or alarm systems at a community facility or place of worship, vandal resistant lighting, fencing, bollards or streetscape and amenity improvements in public areas designed to minimise the risk of crime and support safe behaviour.

Equipment such as street furniture or exercise or play equipment may also be covered by the grant where it aims to increase the use of a public space and responds to an identified community need. The program will not fund recurrent infrastructure costs such as the maintenance of infrastructure.

8. What other type of activities can be funded?

Your project must mainly be focused on installing infrastructure to improve community safety and security. Up to 20 per cent of the grant funding you request can be used to strengthen the impact of your project.

The types of complementary activities you can undertake will depend on the problem you are attempting to solve and the infrastructure solution you propose. You are encouraged to discuss ideas with the local community and facility users and come up with ideas that respond to community needs that are supported by the community. Some practical examples are outlined in the program guidelines, and include:

  • engaging a registered security advisor to prepare written plans with procedures on how to deal with security related emergencies at a place of worship or community facility, and to train community members to effectively implement these procedures
  • reasonable community consultation costs to better understand poor perceptions of safety in an area and inform the design of public safety infrastructure
  • engaging a consultant to advise on place-making approaches to encourage community ownership and use of public places
  • graffiti prevention activity such as local ‘adopt a place’ initiatives or the use of public art to deter graffiti vandalism and attract visitors.

9. Can a new building or a major upgrade be funded?

The aim of the Community Safety Infrastructure Grants is to support ‘shovel-ready’ projects to get Victorians back to work, therefore projects need to commence as soon as possible after funding is confirmed and be delivered within a 2-year period.

New buildings often take time to obtain relevant permits and approvals and construction delays can have a significant impact on your project’s ability to be completed on time.

It is therefore unlikely that major works would be funded by the CSIG program.

10. Are not-for-profit organisations and community groups eligible to apply?

Yes, however your organisation must be a legal entity (for example an incorporated associated, incorporated cooperative or Indigenous corporation) and hold a current Australian Business Number (ABN) to apply.

You will also need to demonstrate that you own or manage a public place by providing either:

  • a copy of the current land title to show you own the property, or
  • a copy of your lease agreement (showing you have leased the premises for at least 5 years) and a letter from the land title owner supporting the installation of infrastructure outlined in your application.

Examples of not-for-profit organisations include neighbourhood houses, charities, sporting groups and cultural or religious groups.

11. Can an organisation submit more than one application?

No. The department will only accept one application per organisation to the Community Safety Infrastructure Grants.

12. Can we submit an application that includes a number of separate sites?

Yes, but your application must fully address the criteria, provide specific details and provide a breakdown of costs for each site. The department may only wish to fund particular project sites, so it is strongly recommended your application allows for each site to be considered and funded as a ‘stand-alone’ project.

13. Can we partner with other organisations to deliver a project?

Project proposals involving partnerships are strongly encouraged. This might include a council partnering with local community groups to deliver a project, or a group of community facility managers coming together to submit a single application and share the grant to upgrade security at their facilities.

If your organisation wants to partner with other organisations in your local area to apply for funding, the application must clearly identify all partners, the amount of funding going to each partner and what the funding will be used for.

Your application should also describe what each partner organisation will do to support the project and it is useful to provide letters of support from partner organisations with your application that clearly confirms the role they will play.

While for-profit organisations cannot apply for funding, an eligible not-for-profit organisation or council can include funding in their proposal to engage particular professional expertise (for example, a security or lighting company to advise on the project) and should make this clear in their application.

Providing evidence

14. What evidence should we provide about our ability to deliver the project?

The department will look for a clear project management approach in your application. You can show this by providing a detailed project plan that indicates key steps and realistic timeframes. You should consider the possible risks with planning and delivering your project and show in your project plan what action you will take to address them.

You should provide a clear budget with quotes or cost estimates to demonstrate that you will have the funding needed to deliver your project.

15. If we have project partners, what information should we provide about them?

If your application includes project partners, you must clearly identify who they are and how they will contribute to the project. Your project budget must also clearly show what funding, if any, will be provided to partner organisations and what it will be used for.

Project budget

16. How much funding can an organisation apply for?

Funding for projects under the CSIG program is between $25,000 and $500,000. Applications seeking less than $25,000 or more than $500,000 will not be considered.

If you are not registered for GST, the costs you include in your budget should include GST. The department will only provide up to $500,000 however and you will need to pay any extra to cover the GST if your project costs are over $500,000 (including GST).

Co-contributions are strongly encouraged, but not mandatory.  

17. We would like to combine Community Safety Infrastructure Grants funding with funding from another program to deliver a project. Is this possible?

Yes, your project can include other funding sources. If the application you submit is part of a larger redevelopment of the site, the department will expect you to deliver all aspects of the project, including those not directly funded by the grant. As a result, you should only combine funding for works that can be realistically delivered before 1 November 2022 within your application.

18. Can we use the grant funding to cover project management costs?

Yes. However, the amount requested for project management must be reasonable and not exceed 7.5 per cent of the total project cost. If project management costs are higher, this should be justified within your application. The amount of funding you seek for project management will be considered when your application is assessed and may impact on whether your project provides value for money.

19. Do we need to provide quotes or cost estimates?

Quotes should be provided wherever possible to support your budget. We understand it is not always possible to get accurate quotes for large, complex projects, particularly where goods and services will go to public tender. Showing how your project has been costed will help to demonstrate that your project is viable and if you don’t include quotes, you must provide detailed cost estimates.

20. Do you have any tips for completing the budget?

Yes, here are some tips:

  • the total project income must equal the total project expenditure
  • the budget needs to include all contributions (including the grant you are requesting) and key expenditure items related to the project
  • ensure you clearly indicate the expenditure items to be funded by the requested grant, and differentiate these from the items to be funded by your organisation or partner’s contribution
  • identify project income from various sources as confirmed or unconfirmed. If funding from another source is not confirmed, this will be considered in assessing the viability of the project
  • be accurate in your costings – you cannot ask for additional funds later because the project was not accurately costed at the start
  • only include income or expenditure items relevant to the project. If the cost is not directly associated with your project, it should not be in the project budget
  • if you are registered for GST do not include GST in your budget. You will be paid GST on top of the grant amount approved
  • if you are not registered for GST, the costs you include in your budget should include GST. The department will only provide up to $500,000 however and you will need to pay any extra to cover the GST if your project costs are over $500,000 (including GST).

Submitting an application

21. I haven’t used an online application before. What help is available for me?

The department uses an online application system to accept grant applications. When you click the ‘Apply now’ link on the Community Safety Infrastructure Grants page on our website, you will be directed to a page where you will need to register to use the SmartyGrants system.

The application form is easy to complete. If you experience any technical difficulties while writing, saving or submitting your application, please contact SmartyGrants Support by phone (03) 9320 6888 or email service@smartygrants.com.au. (External link)

22. When do applications open and close?

Applications will be accepted from 9am 16 June 2020 to 4pm 17 July 2020, via the SmartyGrants system. Applications will not be accepted before or after this timeframe. 

23. Can I submit a late application?

The purpose of the CSIG program is to resource organisations as soon as possible to deliver immediate community safety and security initiatives that have a positive economic stimulus impact.

The closing date for grants applications of 17 July 2020 is a strict deadline to enable the department to assess applications and allocate funds in a fair and timely manner. As such, late applications will not be accepted.

Application writing tips

24. What makes a good application?

Respond fully to each selection criteria within the application form, and be sure that you:

  • clearly articulate and provide evidence of the crime prevention, community safety or security issue your project seeks to address
  • demonstrate linkages between your project and broader community safety plans, council strategic plans and other relevant plans
  • ensure you have worked out and are clear about the scope of your project
  • explain why the proposed solution is the best way of addressing the problem (providing evidence wherever possible) including consideration of alternative responses
  • explain the crime prevention and community safety and security benefits of your project
  • include relevant attachments (e.g. location of proposed infrastructure installation).

Grant application outcomes

25. When will we find out if our application is successful?

We hope to advise applicants of the outcome of their application within three months of the Community Safety Infrastructure Grants closing date, however this will depend on the number of applications we receive. You should consider this timeframe when developing your project plan.

26. Will we be given feedback if our application is unsuccessful?

Unsuccessful applicants will receive a letter advising them of the outcome of their application as well as contact details if you wish to seek feedback.

Further assistance

27. Where can we go to get advice on our application?

To ensure a fair and equitable approach for all applicants, the Community Crime Prevention Unit is not able to discuss the detail of your application but may be able to provide information on whether your project idea is eligible for funding.

Information to assist you in prepare a high quality application is available on our website at crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/communityinfrastructuregrants (External link) This includes the program guidelines, fact sheets, and featured projects. You are strongly encouraged to read support material related to your project idea when preparing your application.

If you have any general questions after reading the resources, either phone the Grants Information Line on 1300 221 249 from 8:30am to 5:00pm weekdays, for the cost of a local call, or email the Community Crime Prevention Unit at communitycrimeprevention@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

Author
Community Crime Prevention Program
Publisher
Department of Justice and Community Safety
Date of Publication

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