The environment belongs to us all and Australians want to do their bit to protect it.
Over the years, we’ve seen what our local communities have to offer when it comes to caring for our environment. Around the nation, local communities are doing great work to manage, conserve and protect our natural habitats, land, rivers, wetlands, coasts and the species they support. Our local communities know their local environments better than most, and they have the knowledge and the passion to take care of our beautiful places and the unique wildlife within them.
The Australian Government has a long and successful history of working with local community groups to deliver clear and measurable benefits to our environment and our communities.
Investing in cleaner and greener communities
The Communities Environment Program (CEP) is supporting community groups—including those that may not be able to compete in larger and more competitive grant programs—to address local environmental priorities. The program is also encouraging the community to connect with their local natural environment and building and strengthening local communities. Applications under the program closed on 17 October 2019.
Under the closed, non-competitive program, each of the 151 federal electorates could receive up to $150,000 in grant funding to support up to 20 community-led projects that address local environmental priorities. Projects were required to align with the objectives, expected outcomes and eligibility requirements of the program. Grants provided through the program could range from $2,500 to $20,000 per project and the majority of funding had to be directed to on-ground activities within the electorate of the nominating Member of Parliament. Cash and/or in-kind co-contributions to projects were encouraged.
The Australian Government has approved and is supporting over 1,330 projects across Australia with a combined value of over $18 million. These are supporting a wide range of small-scale, on-ground projects that aim to conserve, protect and manage our environment.
In accord with whole-of-Government requirements, details of the approved projects are available at www.grants.gov.au.
[When searching Grant Connect, use the standard ‘Grant Awards Published’ report and search by Agency ‘Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’, and category ‘Environment, Energy and Resources’.]
A list of approved projects as at October 2020 is available below. Please note, that GrantConnect provides the latest information.
- Communities Environment Program: approved projects (PDF - 1.93 MB)
- Communities Environment Program: approved projects (XLSX - 259.34 KB)
Application process information
The eligible activities are defined in the program’s grant guidelines which are the basis for assessing eligibility. The following activities provide a guide to the types of projects that may be suitable for a grant under the program:
- monitoring local flora, fauna, water quality or marine debris
- supporting the recovery of threatened species and/or threatened ecological communities
- seed collection, propagation and planting of trees and understorey to control erosion and/or rehabilitate degraded natural habitats, riverbanks, wetlands and/or coasts
- improving or increasing the extent of suitable habitat, vegetation linkages and available food sources for native animals, including in urban areas
- reducing the impact of invasive weeds, pest animals, diseases and erosion on threatened species and natural habitats
- installing infrastructure (such as boardwalks) or fencing to manage access to sensitive natural habitats
- reducing the impact of waste and litter on natural habitats (e.g. litter clean-up events, marine debris collection or litter management infrastructure)
- workshops to increase community skills in monitoring, conserving, and/or protecting threatened species, ecological communities or other important environmental assets.
Please refer to the program’s guidelines for full details of eligible activities under the program.
Who is eligible for funding?
To be eligible to apply an organisation must:
- be nominated by a local federal Member of Parliament
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN), and
- be an incorporated entity type listed in the Program’s Guidelines.
The Program’s Guidelines also make provision for unincorporated organisations to nominate a project sponsor (who meets these requirements) to act on their behalf so they can participate.
A broad range of organisations are eligible under the program, such as community clubs (e.g. Lions clubs, Rotary clubs, sports clubs), not-for-profit organisations (e.g. Indigenous organisations), landcare groups (including Bushcare, Coastcare, and ‘friends of’ groups), government and non-government schools, Parents and Citizens Associations, Parents and Friends Groups, and other community and conservation groups.
Local governing bodies, as defined by the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995, and several other identified bodies are eligible.
State or territory government agencies or bodies are not eligible, unless specifically listed in the Guidelines, such as registered schools with their own ABN or certain entities acting as project sponsors. Commonwealth Government agencies or bodies, individuals, and partnerships, are not eligible.
For full details of eligibility, please refer to the program’s guidelines.
How to apply
This grant funding opportunity closed on 17 October 2019 and no further funding is currently available. Documents remain available for reference only.
The Program’s Grant Opportunity Guidelines are available at www.business.gov.au/cep. Supporting documents, such as Frequently Asked Questions, are also available.
The Communities Environment Program is being delivered by the AusIndustry Business Grants Hub on behalf of the Department.
This grant funding opportunity closed on 17 October 2019 and no further funding is currently available.
For enquiries, please contact the Grants Hub by:
- calling 13 28 46, or
- visiting www.business.gov.au/contact-us to web chat or complete an online enquiry form.
For further information, visit www.business.gov.au/cep.
Watch the video
Transcript of video
Australia’s environment is diverse, unique and essential to our survival.
Around the nation, local communities are doing great work to nurture our land, our rivers, our coasts and oceans and all the species they support.
Under the Morrison Government’s Communities Environment Program, we are achieving even more.
In our towns and cities, and in remote and regional Australia the Morrison Government has provided grants of up to $20,000 to continue this great work.
Members of Parliament worked with their communities to identify projects, so local groups could step up action like tackling litter and waste, restoring habitats and controlling feral animals, planting trees and creating habitat for threatened species or simply helping others enjoy nature.
The Morrison Government invested $18 million for over 1,300 projects across Australia to keep our unique environment healthy.
Check out https://www.awe.gov.au/environment/biodiversity/conservation/cep to find out more.