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QLD Reef Coastal Restoration Program

QLD Reef Coastal Restoration Program

  • Applications are open until: 20 November 2023
  • A grant of up to $2 million covers 100% of eligible expenses.

The Reef Coastal Restoration Program (the program) aims to restore and rehabilitate Great Barrier Reef (the Reef) coastal habitats and ecosystems, particularly those classified as blue carbon systems. Through the implementation of various projects, the program will actively contribute to the achievement of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050 plan) and Reef Trust Outcomes.

The program aims to achieve the following objectives, rehabilitate and restore degraded or previously destroyed Reef coastal habitats/ecosystems through the implementation of on-ground ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration activities. The Reef 2050 Plan seeks to establish a future in which the reef is in improved condition and remains sustainable for future generations to come.

Key Requirements

The program is set to run from 2023-24 to 2025-26, providing funding for projects aimed at executing prompt and effective coastal habitat and ecosystem rehabilitation activities within the Reef. These initiatives will focus on restoring and rejuvenating the on-ground conditions of the Reef’s coastal areas.

The project activities will significantly contribute to achieving at least one Reef Trust Outcome.

  • Reef Trust Outcome 1: Improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef from
    broad-scale land use to increase the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Reef Trust Outcome 2 – Improve the health and resilience of coastal habitats 
  • Reef Trust Outcome 3: Enhancing and safeguarding marine biodiversity

The project activities will make a significant contribution to achieving the Reef 2050 plan, particularly by addressing the goals and strategic actions.

You must complete your project by 31 March 2026.

What is eligible for funding?

To be eligible your project must: 

  • assist in achieving the goals and aims of both the Reef 2050 Plan and the Reef Trust Outcomes 1, 2, and/or 3.
  • be aimed at the program objectives
  • deliver immediate, tangible and reportable benefits, outcomes and enhancements for the coastal environment of the Reef.

Eligible activities can include but are not limited to:

  • restoration of hydrological regimes in Reef costal habitats/ecosystems.
  • initiating projects and/or managing multiple projects aimed at rehabilitating and/or restoring various interconnected coastal habitats and ecosystems within the Reef. This approach is designed to optimise rehabilitation and restoration outcomes by leveraging ecological facilitation.
  • activities that build on small scale pilot projects that have previously demonstrated the successful testing of site-specific restoration techniques.

Eligible projects may be an extension of, or build on, an existing project however you must clearly demonstrate the project is additional to any existing projects or grant activities.

We may also grant approval for additional activities where you can demonstrate that restoration or rehabilitation actions can produce immediate, tangible benefits to the Reef coastal environment.

Your project can encompass various activities across multiple locations within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park, the Great Barrier Reef Natural Resource Management regions, or specific habitats/ecosystems within the Great Barrier Reef Catchments that directly impact the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park and the broader Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Grant funding can only be spent on eligible expenses incurred on the agreed project, as specified in your grant agreement.

Eligible expenditure items include the following, where they are directly related to the project: 

  • the contractor’s costs for delivering eligible project activities. All contractors must have a written contract prior to starting any project work. Invoices from contractors must include a comprehensive description and breakdown of the work including the number of hours and hourly rates
  • labour and on-costs for personnel directly employed in delivering the project activities (this should be calculated on a pro-rata basis according to their time commitment). This excludes project management or project coordination such costs are covered under administrative support below 
  • costs associated with monitoring and reporting activities are limited to a maximum of 5% of total eligible expenditure.
  • costs associated with administrative support activities up to a maximum of 10 per cent of total eligible expenditure incurred through the delivery of eligible project activities 
  • costs associated with purchase, lease or hire of equipment where needed to undertake eligible activities
  • the cost of an independent audit of project expenditure up to a maximum of 1 per cent of total eligible project expenditure.
  • staff training that directly supports the achievement of project outcomes 
  • domestic travel limited to the reasonable cost of accommodation and transportation required to conduct agreed project activities in Australia 

If your application is approved, we may request confirmation of the project expenses you’ve detailed in your submission, which might entail supplying supporting documentation like estimates for significant expenses.

To be eligible, expenditure must: 

  • be a direct cost of the project
  • be incurred by you for required project audit activities. 

You must incur the project expenditure between the project start and end date for it to be eligible unless stated otherwise.

You have the option to initiate your project upon receiving notification of your successful application. However, any expenses incurred prior to the execution of a grant agreement are your responsibility. The Commonwealth should not be regarded as liable for, nor held responsible for, any activities carried out before the grant agreement is formalised.

What companies are eligible for funding?

You are eligible to apply if you:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)

Moreover, you must fall under one of the following entity categories:

  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) 
  • an entity, incorporated in Australia 
  • a publicly funded research organisation (PFRO)
  • an incorporated association
  • an incorporated not for profit organisation 
  • an Australian local government agency or body
  • Queensland state government agency or body. 

Joint applications are welcome, as long as there is a lead organisation that takes the main responsibility for driving the project and meets the eligibility criteria for application. 

We can only accept applications where projects will:

  • you must also have relevant permits and approvals in place, or the ability to obtain relevant permits and approvals, within an appropriate timeframe to deliver the objectives and outcomes by the end of the project period
  • undertake on-ground restoration and/or rehabilitation of Great Barrier Reef coastal habitats/ecosystems 

For the purpose of this program, rehabilitation and restoration activities will be focused on eligible Great Barrier Reef coastal ecosystems, specifically blue carbon ecosystems such as seagrass meadows, mangroves, saltmarsh, coastal wetlands, and supratidal swamp forests. Additionally, coastal shellfish reefs within the Great Barrier Reef will also qualify for rehabilitation and restoration activities under this program.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.