Regional Water Quality Grant Program
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) is seeking to establish two regionally focussed water quality improvement programs under the Reef Trust Partnership, one for the Mulgrave-Russell catchment (value $6.2m) and one in the Tully-Johnstone catchment (value $11.6m). Applicants are invited to submit expressions of interest for provision of cost-effective solutions to substantially reduce the amount of dissolved inorganic nitrogen leaving these catchments. We are also seeking professional services related to program management and partnership coordination for these regional programs. Applications close 11.45 pm AEDT on 20 November 2020.
The webinar recording has been posted on this GBRF website.
The 10% cap relates to the funding limitations for the Program Manager and Partnership Coordinator roles, which should be no more than 10% of the total grant for that particular region. The $500,000 minimum amount relates to the on-ground project minimum value.
The approach and project design of projects is for delivery providers to develop. Proposals must be able to demonstrate how their project will achieve the required water quality outcomes.
The Paddock to Reef (P2R) projector tool will be the primary mechanism used for managing practice change projects. All projects will be required to report outcomes in accordance with the GBRF monitoring and evaluation (M&E) guidelines and frameworks. These documents are available as part of the tender package. GBRF also have an inhouse database which stores the P2R questions for practice change projects and will also incorporate the gully and streambank toolbox for sediment projects. Wetlands projects would be assessed differently. Project objectives/deliverables must be clearly defined and then tested, monitored and reported at regular intervals, for the life of the project. Project achievements and outcomes will be closely mapped and monitored to ensure key deliverables are being realised.
Yes, please see here.
GBRF previously opened funding for an Innovation grant, which was suitable for novel approaches. This current grant round is seeking to implement on-ground water quality improvement projects using proven approaches for delivering the required water quality outcomes. Project proposals would need to demonstrate a very high level of confidence, with sufficient supporting evidence, in what can be delivered if using a new approach.
GBRF have already committed over $9M towards Innovation-funded projects, and another grant round for these types of projects is not planned.
Proponents are expected to consider and assess project risks as part of their proposals, including mitigation measures and strategies to address these. GBRF understands the uncertainty associated with severe weather events and will approach such circumstances in a flexible and adaptable way, to identify the most feasible approach depending on the scenario. If significant risks are predicted, GBRF would expect proponents to address these in their submissions.
Management of fine sediments is not a priority for investment in the Mulgrave-Russell and Tully-Johnstone catchments. Key priorities are driven by targets and objectives outlined in the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan, which identifies dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) as the priority for water quality improvement in these catchments. GBRF recognise that sediments may have nutrient associations. Proposals that identify delivery of nutrient savings can be considered, but the primary focus is achieving DIN reductions.
It is not a requirement that the roles be full-time positions. GBRF will select an entity or organisation for each regional program to fulfil the program manager and partnership coordinator roles (or both). Within that entity, a group of professionals with different areas of expertise and different allocations of time can collectively contribute to the delivery of the tasks allocated to both roles. Applicants should ensure they have adequate resources to deliver the scope of works, while also recognising the indicative cap on the total funding available for these roles.
The Paddock to Reef (P2R) Projector is a prioritisation tool created to support groups who are working with farmers to improve their water quality. It assists with the process of assessing and prioritising projects for funding. Further information on P2R can be found here.
Yes, capital items are eligible for funding, providing the applicant can demonstrate that the expense is justified and will contribute to a long-term (ongoing) water quality outcome. In the case of a major capital purchase, it may be that GBRF would require specific contractual commitments regarding how the capital item will be used, including beyond the life of the project.
The Steering Committee will be expected to initially meet on a monthly basis (at least within the first three to six months of the project). Meetings may be held less frequently as the project progresses, likely every 2-3 months. Members would include a representative from GBRF (as Chair), one representative from the GBRF Water Quality Working Group, one representative from the Program Manager and Partnership Coordinator organisation, and the GBRF Program Manager and secretariat. These meetings are currently being held via zoom rather than in person, so do not involve travel and associated logistics.
Yes, the 10% cap of total funding for each program applies to both the Project Manager (PM) and Partnership Coordinator (PC) roles combined. So for the Mulgrave-Russell catchment, GBRF would not allocate more than $620K of the $6.2M in total across both PM/PC roles.
Assets are defined as “any item of tangible property purchased, leased, hired, financed, created or otherwise brought into existence either wholly or in part with the use of the Project Funds and which has a GST exclusive value of $10,000 or more.”
No cap on assets are identified in the Reef Trust Head Agreement or the GBRF Subgrant Agreement, however approval of an investment in such assets would be required by the assessment panel, to ensure that the investment was necessary to achieve the end of partnership outcomes and value for money.
There is no maximum value set for individual water quality projects, however those approved for funding will need to provide evidence-based, cost-effective solutions that demonstrate how they will deliver substantial reductions in dissolved inorganic nitrogen leaving the Mulgrave-Russell catchment. The total amount of funding available in the Mulgrave-Russell region is $6.2 million, which will be used to fund delivery of all on-ground water quality projects, with a small portion to be used for the Project Manager/Partnership Coordinator roles and the technical advisory group.