Regional Water Quality Grant Program
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is seeking delivery providers to implement on-ground water quality improvement projects as part of the Upper Herbert, Upper and East Burdekin, and the Bowen Broken Bogie Water Quality Programs. Applicants are invited to submit detailed project proposals that will contribute to achieving an enduring reduction in the long-term end-of-catchment pollutant loads from these priority catchments. Applications close 11.45pm AEST on 12 June 2020.
#Grant Round FAQ's
Yes, both the control of nutrients and metals can be included, but primarily the project needs to deal with fine sediment. If there are additional benefits because the project will also be capturing nutrients and metals, that may potentially improve the attractiveness of the project. However, the project should primarily aim to address fine sediment, which is the pollutant that has been identified as a priority under the Water Quality Improvement Plan for these regions. In considering the cost-effectiveness of the proposed approach (assessment criteria 1) the proposal will be assessed against how it addresses fine sediment.
Yes, it is possible to purchase equipment to undertake the project. However, this measure may have an impact when assessing the cost-effectiveness of the proposal.
Yes, the purchase of pasture seed is considered an eligible type of expenditure.
No, the minimum project size is $500K. Organisations (including Landcare groups) that would not be able to take on a project of this size may like to consider being part of a consortium bid through partnering with organisations that are more suited to deliver larger projects.
Fine sediment refers to particles with diameter of less than 16 micrometres.
No. Within one catchment you can submit a single proposal that incorporates multiple locations. However, you do have the option to submit two or more proposals within the same catchment if, for example, there are multiple dimensions to your proposal that may be better assessed and as separate projects.
The targets are a long-term average annual reduction. It is not a cumulative amount but what the relevant catchment model suggests would be reduce every year (e.g. by the end of the Bowen Broken Bogie program, on average each year there should be 332 kt less of fine sediment reaching the end of the catchment). The targets have been developed based on the Paddock to Reef Source catchment modelling.
Those are the values that we are targeting, and they were developed based on the best information available on the cost and efficacy of the likely types of projects. Ultimately, through the proposals that come forward we will identify the cost-effectiveness that organisations think they can deliver.
There are no specific exclusions to the use of exotic species within the Reef Trust Partnership. However, activities will need to comply with any relevant biosecurity legislation and ensure the activity will not have an adverse environmental impact.
In principle, any type of intervention that will result in a water quality improvement can be considered. (Noting that all project activities will need to comply with any relevant legislation and not have any adverse environmental impacts.) As for all other proposals, such a project would need to present evidence regarding the expected water quality improvements as a result of the project activities. This should be based on defensible science quantified – e.g. removal of X ha of woody weed cover and conversion/return to pastures will result in a reduction in fine sediment runoff of Y tons of fine sediment at end of catchment.
Applicants are required to provide copies of their Health and Safety Policy and Procedures as part of their submission (organisation policy level). In terms of risk assessment, a Risk Management Plan needs to be completed to indicate the project risks, management/mitigation actions, and the estimated timing (see example to risk management table in section 3.6 of the application form). Further detail may be requested by GBRF prior to executing the contract.
Not yet. This is still an ongoing process that we aim to complete shortly.
The overall targets that we have set at the programs level are indicated in the Grant Guidelines. Based on this, each project proposal should set out its own targets. From a Monitoring and Evaluation perspective, all projects will be required to report to Paddock to Reef using the Gully and Streambank Toolbox. We anticipate there will also be additional, local water quality monitoring undertaken to support the modelled estimates that are generated using the Toolbox.
Given that this Grant is asking for detailed project proposals, the project team should be specified as much as possible. However, we do not require details of the earthwork contractors. Where possible, proposals should identify the proposed approach to selecting and appointing any contractors who are not listed in the proposal.
Yes. We understand the challenges around the COVID-19 situation, the associated restrictions in travel, and the limits this situation currently imposes in preparing proposals. Please indicate in the proposal what those qualifications might be, how that has limited the proposal preparation, and what you might need to do at a later stage.
No, there will be separate processes for Traditional Owner-led projects. There is a new governance structure within the RTP Traditional Owner Component that includes a Traditional Owner Water Quality Working Group. This Group will recommend how funds for Traditional-Owner led projects will be released. However, if you identify potential Traditional Owner projects that are linked to your current proposal, please let us know. These will not be considered as part of the current Grant but could be considered in an alternative process.
Ideally, we would like to see all the information and details available in relation to the personnel who will be working in the project. Note that the capacity of the project team is one of the assessment criteria in this process.
Any approach that can be demonstrated to achieve cost-effective water quality outcomes will be considered, including feral animal control. Ultimately, these approaches/interventions will be evaluated against the assessment criteria indicated in the Grant Guidelines. As with all proposals, the EOI will need to provide evidence to support claims regarding the effectiveness of the approach in reducing fine sediment, including quantifying the expected load reduction as a result of the project, as well as evidence that the proposed approach has been successfully implemented previously.
Please refer to the maps in the guidelines to identify the regions’ boundaries. The shape files showing more exact boundaries are available and can be shared on request.
In the specific case of the Herbert catchment, GBRF has proposed two separate water quality programs. The Upper Herbert program is focussed on reducing fine sediment, and Lower Herbert is focussed on DIN. The programs have been named in this way because the expectation is that interventions addressing sediment will most likely be undertaken in the upper part of the catchment, while DIN focussed projects are more likely to be undertaken in the lower catchment. However, GBRF has not defined a spatial boundary between the upper and lower catchment, and for both the Upper and Lower Herbert programs, projects at any location within the Herbert catchment will be eligible.
The palm islands group do not fit within the scope of the Upper Herbert sediment program, even though it is in the receiving environment. Any island as part of the catchment has been considered from a modelling perspective (see Alluvium report below, which primarily guides our investments in the regional programs).
As noted in the guidelines, the intention is that projects undertaken under the Bowen Broken Bogie regional program will be linked to existing governance arrangements for the MIP. How this will occur is still to be determined, but will be facilitated by GBRF. For the purposes of preparing proposals, applicants may wish to identify how their project may fit with existing initiatives in the region, such as under the MIP. However, applicants are not required to reach agreement with the MIP regarding potential linkages.
GBRF is seeking reassurance that applicants are aware of the mandatory M&E requirements (outlined in the M&E Guidelines and Data collection plan) and that meeting these requirements is reflected in their costings as well as considered in their operations. In other words, that there will be goodwill to collect the data required by GBRF. Likewise, that all project relevant staff will be participating in the training.
It would be beneficial to identify the subset of indicators that would be relevant to the project in question.
In addition to commenting on the mandatory M&E requirements, GBRF would like to know the proposed additional monitoring and evaluation activities for the project and the purpose of this. Also, that this has been reflected in the costings.
Lastly, by asking about the reports planned and review mechanisms, GBRF is prompting the projects to incorporate using the M&E data for improving the project throughout its life, ensuring they have thought of the opportunities to use data to improve delivery, overcome barriers, maximise outcomes or increase ancillary benefits. And that there are mechanisms in the project plans to review this data and adjust the project accordingly.