Grant guideline questions and answers
The Leadership in Agricultural Industries grant program is a competitive grant process. Any questions asked and responded to while the grant is available are documented for reference.
What is the fund for? (question 1)
The objective of the $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund (the Fund) is to support initiatives to develop leadership capacity and capability within agricultural industries. This will assist national agricultural representative organisations to advocate agricultural and rural issues to the Australian community, the government and other stakeholders. The Fund will support projects that build skills at the grass roots level and recognises the continuing need for leadership support and mentoring in the agricultural sector.
This program is looking to fund projects that develop and foster the skills of current or potential agricultural leaders so they are better able to engage with government and other organisations, to lead the industry through transitional and structural change and to communicate with farmers and other stakeholders.
The Fund will be responsive to the requirements specified by each applicant organisation, with the projected outcomes and milestones reflecting the particular objectives of each successful applicant. Whilst these objectives are expected, but not limited to be linked to trade and biosecurity policy issues, they may be directed to any other areas of leadership need identified by the organisation. Applicants are encouraged to include an alumni component that carries forward the learning and development achieved from grant funded activities.
Who will benefit? (question 2)
The Fund is expected to deliver benefits to industry groups, the agricultural industry they represent, and the community. Grant funding will be directed to activities that develop the capabilities of agricultural leaders so they are better able to articulate their points of view, to speak and act on the industry representative bodies’ (IRBs’) behalf and to strategically assess information to work productively towards meeting the needs of the IRB, government, or to participate in public debates.
What funding is available? (question 3)
The Fund is a Commonwealth grant program. It is a competitive grant process with a single round in early 2017. It is anticipated that the grant amount requested will be between $100,000 and $500,000, though smaller grant requests will be considered. Smaller organisations could consider developing and lodging an application as part of a consortium with other similar organisations. [See section 8.6 ‘Grant Applications from Consortium’].
If there are not enough suitable applications to meet the program’s objectives, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources may, at his discretion, commission additional activities from applicants or from other organisations that support the objectives of the program.
Who can apply? (question 4)
To be eligible an applicant must be an Australian national agricultural industry organisation who represents a national group of primary producers from agriculture, forestry or fisheries. The mission of these organisations is to represent their membership to formulate and implement rural development policies and programs. This is achieved through consultation, information and training and by providing member support and services.
A national organisation does not need to have members across Australia. In some cases the industry represented will be located across a small geographic area, with producers in only one or two states. To be eligible the industry organisation must be representative of producers across a primary production commodity.
Eligible organisations will represent producers of agricultural commodities. Industry organisations that only represent distribution networks or manufacturing industries based on agricultural commodities are not eligible under this program.
Do all the members of a consortium need to be national agricultural representative organisations? (question 5)
No. The lead organisation in a consortium must be a national agricultural representative organisation. The other members do not have to be national bodies but must directly represent primary producers. Organisations which do not have a representative role but assist an industry in other ways such as marketing and research or are service providers are not eligible consortium members.
What is a national body? (question 6)
A national agricultural industry representative body is one that represents the majority of producers for a primary production industry, from agriculture, fisheries or forestry. They need to be recognised as a peak organisation for that commodity, with national representation.
Can I apply more than once? (question 7)
Only a single application will be accepted from an individual organisation. This could be as an organisation in their own right or as the lead applicant for the consortium. An organisation could also be a member of a consortium, where another organisation is the lead applicant. The only instance where an organisation may be part of more than one application is where they are a member of a consortium (but not the lead applicant) and have submitted an application in the name of their organisation.
If my application is rejected can I apply again? (question 8)
No. As the Fund will be delivered through a single open competitive grants round there is no opportunity to make a second application.
How do I apply? (question 9)
Applications will be made using an on-line application form. Information will be available on the department’s website when applications open.
How do I know my application has been received? (question 10)
After the application is completed and submitted on-line, a message with your Submission Reference ID will appear on screen. An email will also be sent to the main email contact listed in the application form. This may take a few moments. Please wait for the acknowledgement email before closing the application form. If you do not receive an acknowledgement email, please check your spam folder before contacting the department.
You are also able to send a receipt email to an address you choose
Do I need to keep the reference ID? (question 11)
Yes. Save your receipt and use it and the reference number for all correspondence about the application.
Will the department contact me after I submit my application? (question 12)
Yes. As a minimum the department will contact all successful and unsuccessful applicants, after the minister has made his decision.
The department will also contact all applicants who indicate in their application that they wish to provide additional documents in support of their project proposal, before the assessment commences to explain how to provide these documents.
What can grant funds be used for? (question 13)
The objective of the Fund is to support agricultural industry representative bodies to develop and foster the skills of their current or potential leaders. Grant funds can be used for activities that are part of a strategy to develop the individuals or organisations capability to better assimilate information, communicate and advocate on behalf of their organisation to all stakeholders in response to industry wide issues that could relate to biosecurity, trade deals, research and development outcomes or industry restructuring.
See Section 5 of the Grant Guidelines for examples of eligible activities.
When must project activities be conducted? (question 14)
To be eligible for funding, grant activities must commence after the grant agreement has been signed by the applicant and the department, and be completed before 30 June 2020.
The department recognises that unexpected events may affect the progress of a project. In these circumstances, the grantee can request a project variation, including:
- changing project milestones
- extending the timeframe for completion of milestones (within the program end date).
How much funding can I apply for? (question 15)
Total funding to an applicant from the competitive round is capped at $500,000. It is anticipated that most grants will be between $100,000 and $500,000 depending on the scope of the grant activities and their complexity. Applications for smaller amounts will be considered. Small organisations could consider joining with similar representative organisations to develop a larger project with broader industry coverage. In this case the application would be submitted by a lead organisation for a consortium.
Are applicants or consortium members required to match the grant funding requested? (question 16)
No. It is not an eligibility criteria for applicants to contribute to project activities. Contributions are not required from any or all consortia members. However, Criterion 5: Co-contribution to the funds sought, is worth 10 per cent of the total assessment. Co-contributions are scored on a sliding scale as detailed under Section 7.1 of the Grant Guidelines. The level of co-contributions will be taken into account in assessing the application’s value for money.
Can applicant contributions be ‘in-kind’? (question 17)
Yes. Contributions can be either cash or justified in-kind amounts and must be directly related to the eligible costs of delivering the project activities. They can include salaries of staff who are directly involved with the project’s delivery. All project contributions should be listed in the application as part of the itemised project budget. Justification should be provided for the amounts claimed as in-kind contributions (i.e. administrative support @ 0.1 FTE of $56,000 = $5,600).
Example of how cash and in-kind contributions can be presented:
Nature of contribution
Amount (excl. GST)
[Applicant name or name of third party providing the Other Contribution]
[insert description of contribution, e.g., cash, access to equipment, Administrative support @ 0.1 FTE of $56,000 = $5,600 etc]
[insert the activity to which the Contribution relates]
Can I apply for a grant if funding has been, or is being, received from another source? (question 18)
No. Activities cannot be funded if they are already receiving funding from another government source (including Australian, state, territory or local government). Activities could qualify for funding if you can demonstrate they are additional activities / outcomes, separate or additional to a previously or currently funded activity, that the Fund will enable.
Eligible organisations can apply for grant funding if they are already receiving grants for other activities.
Can I claim the cost of an eligible activity undertaken prior to the program opening for applications? (question 19)
No. Grant funding is only available for eligible activities that commence after the grant agreement is signed by the applicant and the department.
What additional information do I need to include with my application? (question 20)
Applicants are asked to attach a number of documents with their application; without them the application cannot be submitted.
Applications must include:
- the applicant organisation’s financial statements for the 2014–15 and 2015–16 financial years
- the applicant organisations 2016–17 financial plan. This document should include the budgeted income and expenditure for the organisation’s activities, and any change in assets. It will not include Leadership in Agricultural Industries grant funding.
- a project budget for the proposed grant activities. This document should be presented as a table showing, in chronological order and for each financial year, what the activity is, when it will occur, any cash or in-kind contributions, the grant funding requested and the total activity cost.
Grant amount requested $
Total cost $
- A statement confirming the applicant is applying as a single organisation responsible for delivery of all activities and how any co-contributions have been valued.
- A single document containing the signed letters of support from consortium members, Including:
- member organisation name and Australian Business Number (ABN)
- overview of how the organisation will work with the consortium to complete the grant activity(ies)
- confirmation of any cash or in-kind co-contributions, including how in-kind contributions were valued, and
- details of a nominated management–level contact officer.
If the applicant or consortium is providing in-kind contributions to the activity cost, a description of how the in-kind funding is calculated needs to be included in the letter or statement of support provided as an attachment to the application. If the application includes in-kind contributions the statement or letter of support should clearly show how this contribution has been valued (i.e. administrative support @ 0.1 FTE of $56,000 = $5,600).
What happens if my application is successful? (question 21)
The department will advise you if your grant application was successful, and will ask for some additional information to complete a draft deed agreement. This may include bank account details, details of the signatory to the agreement and the nominated project management officer. When the department has prepared the draft grant agreement two copies will be sent to you for signature. You can negotiate details of the agreement such as delivery milestones, but not the funding amount.
The grant agreement is not binding until it is signed by the applicant organisation and executed by the Commonwealth. The first milestone payment will be made on execution of the grant agreement.
What do I need to do to be eligible for discretionary grant funding for additional activities? (question 22)
Additional applications will not be sought by the department. If there are not enough suitable applications to meet the program’s objectives, the minister may, at his discretion, commission additional activities from applicants, or from other organisations, following the competitive process.
If there are additional activities that would support successful projects or gaps in industry representation, the department may make recommendations to the minister, and enter into negotiations for additional activities. Any grants will be awarded through a select, non-competitive process. Depending on the funds available, potential grantees and the suitable activities, this may be a multi-step process.
If my application focuses on leadership needs in relation to trade and biosecurity issues will it gain a higher ranking? (question 23)
No. Trade and biosecurity issues are two examples of where agricultural industries and their representative organisations may want to build leadership capacity and capability. Applications should focus on the particular needs of an industry and its representative organisation.
The program guidelines state that an eligible activity is the purchase of a training place. Does this mean I can purchase a building? (question 24)
No. This means that you can purchase a place or several places on a training course. A grant cannot be used on capital expenditure such as the construction of a building in which training courses are run.
Can an applicant be a member of more than one consortium application? (question 25)
Yes. An applicant can be a member of more than one consortium. The applicant cannot be a lead member for more than one consortium. A lead member must be a national agricultural representative organisation. A consortium member must be an agricultural representative organisation.
If an applicant is seeking to set up a national agricultural representative organisation, but it is not yet incorporated or does not have an ABN or is not registered for GST; can it still apply? (question 26)
No. An applicant must be able to meet all the eligibility criteria set out in the program guidelines.
If my organisation does not have financial statements for 2014–15 or 2015–16, is it still able to submit an application to the program? (question 27)
If you are not able to provide these financial statements you must contact the department prior to the close of the application period.
If an organisation is awarded a grant, and the grant project generates a profit, how can that profit be used? (question 28)
Any profit derived from a grant activity should be used over the life of the program, in line with the purpose of the grant. In other words, it should be reinvested in the grant activity or in an additional activity that meets the program’s objective in consultation with the department.
I am a small organisation or I am requesting funding for a small project, how much information do I need to provide? (question 29)
When completing your application you should provide enough information to clearly answer the assessment criteria. More information is expected to support a large project proposal than for a smaller proposal, or from a smaller, less well-resourced organisation.
Section 7 of the program guidelines says that
‘When compiling the application, the amount of detail and any supporting evidence should be relative to the project size, complexity and grant amount requested.’
And section 8.5 says that
‘Supporting information should be directly relevant to your application, and be appropriate to the size, complexity and grant amount requested for your project.’
Can a party who is not eligible to apply for the grant, either individually or as part of a consortium, contribute financially to a project? (question 30)
Yes. Applicants can seek other funding to increase the funding available for projects, however, the contributor and amount (in-kind or cash) must be declared upfront in the application. Co-contributions from parties that are not members of the consortium will count towards criterion 5 (10%) co-contributions.
The organisation who submits the application and, if successful, enters into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth will be responsible for performing the grantee’s obligations under the grant. Where a grantee fails to meet the obligations of the grant agreement, the department may request all or some funds to be reimbursed, even those paid in previous financial years under the grant.
[Refer to sections 8.6 and 10.1 of the program guidelines]
It should be noted that grants cannot be awarded for existing activities.
If organisations are applying as a consortium, does the lead organisation need to provide a letter of support? (question 31)
Yes. As noted in section 8.6 of the grant program guidelines, applications from a consortium must include a letter of support from each organisation involved in the grant.
The lead organisation’s letter of support should include an overview of how the organisation will work with the consortium to complete the grant activity(ies). Note that the lead organisation will have already confirmed the name and ABN of their organisation, co-contribution information and nominated contact officer details in the completion of the application form.
Consortium members should continue to prepare their letter of support in line with section 8.6 of the guidelines and per question 20 of the grant guideline questions and answers.
Minor clarification to section 4.1 of the Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund grant guidelines regarding the assessment of grant applications.
All applications received by the program’s secretariat (whether they are incomplete, not fully compliant or from non-eligible organisations) will be presented to the assessment panel for their final decision.