Communities Environment Program

At a glance


The Communities Environment Program provides each of the 151 electorates across Australia with up to $150,000 to fund small, community-led environment projects that address local environmental priorities. In consultation with their community, each Federal Member of Parliament must identify potential applicants and projects in their electorate and invite them to apply for a grant.

At a minimum, you must:

  • be invited to apply by your local MP
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be one of the eligible incorporated entities listed in section 4.1 of the grant opportunity guidelines

Other eligibility requirements apply.

Deadline to apply:

Contact information:

13 28 46


The Communities Environment Program (the program) will run over one year in 2019-20. The Australian Government announced the program in March 2019 prior to the 2019 budget and will provide $22.65 million in funding to support small scale, community-led environment projects that address local environmental priorities in each of the 151 federal electorates across Australia.

The program forms part of the Australian Government's 2019 environment policy election commitment, Our Plan for a Cleaner Environment. It aims to support the environmental priorities of local community and environment groups in their regions and neighbourhoods, to recover and strengthen the environment and to build and strengthen local communities.

  • The minimum grant amount is $2,500
  • The maximum grant amount is $20,000
  • The grant amount will be up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs.

Additional cash and/or in-kind contributions towards the project costs are strongly encouraged.

You must complete your project no later than 31 December 2020.

You may start your project from the date you submit your application. However, if you choose to start your project before you have an executed grant agreement, you do so at your own risk.

We cannot fund your project if it receives funding from another Commonwealth, State, Territory or local government grant. You can apply for a grant for your project under more than one government program, but if your application is successful, you must choose either the Communities Environment Program grant or the other government grant.

We are not responsible for any expenditure you incur until a grant agreement is executed. You must incur your project expenditure between the project start and end dates to be eligible.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be invited to apply by your MP
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)

and be one of the following incorporated entities:

  • an incorporated not for profit organisation including but not limited to:
    • community associations, including
      • Parents and Citizens, Parents and Friends groups and equivalent bodies*
    • non-distributing co-operatives
    • companies limited by guarantee
    • Indigenous not for profit corporations
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust with responsibility for a community property
  • an Australian State/Territory Government agency or body that is:
    • a registered school that is a legal entity (with its own unique ABN) and that can enter into a grant agreement in its own right
    • a legal entity applying on behalf of a registered school
    • a legal entity applying on behalf of a Western Australian Land Conservation District Committee
    • a Regional Land Partnerships service provider acting as a project sponsor to enable a community group to undertake their project (see section 5.2 of the guidelines)
  • a local governing body as defined by the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995

* This includes Queensland Parents and Citizens' Associations which are prevented from incorporation by their governing legislation but are still considered legal entities.

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • a for profit organisation
  • an individual
  • a partnership
  • an unincorporated association (unless sponsored, see section 5.2 of the guidelines)
  • a Regional Development Australia Committee
  • a trust (however, an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a Commonwealth, State or Territory government agency or body (including government business enterprises)
  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity
  • a political party, political organisation or lobbyist
  • an organisation that is not based in Australia.

How to apply

Members of Parliament are responsible for the community consultation process. If you are invited to apply by your local MP, you will receive the link to the online application form in an email from your local Federal Member of Parliament. You must use the link that is emailed to you to complete the online Communities Environment Program application form.

Applications close: 10 October 2019 5:00 pm AEDT

You should read the grant opportunity guidelines before you apply. The guidelines provide detailed information on the grant opportunity, including granting activity objectives; eligibility criteria; the assessment processes; reporting and acquittal requirements; and a description of review mechanisms.

To apply, fill in the online application form accessed via the link in the email from your local MP and attach any mandatory attachments. When you submit your online application, we will provide you with an automated receipt number and a link. The link goes to a page where you can enter your email address to receive acknowledgment and a copy of your complete application.

For assistance with the application form contact us.

How we assess applications

We assess your application against the eligibility criteria.

We will assess your application for completeness and against all the eligibility criteria. To be recommended for funding, your project must meet all eligibility criteria, provide value for money and be considered a proper use of public resources.

The Program Delegate decides which grants to approve taking into account the application assessment, availability of grant funds and whether funding a project will be a proper use of public resources.

The Program Delegate will make the final decision.

If your application is successful

If you are successful, you will receive notification from your MP and an approval letter or exchange of letters grant agreement from the department, including any specific conditions attached to the grant.

If you are unsuccessful, we will notify you in writing and give you an opportunity to discuss the outcome with us.

We must execute a grant agreement with you before we can make any payments. We are not responsible for any expenditure you incur before a grant agreement is executed. If you choose to start your project before you have an executed grant agreement, you do so at your own risk.

We will pay 100 per cent of the grant on execution of the grant agreement. You will be required to report how you spent the grant funds at the completion of the project.

Payments will be made by direct credit into a nominated bank account.

Key documents

  • Grant opportunity guidelines
  • Factsheet
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Sample application form
  • Mapping tool user guide
  • Sample grant agreement - approval letter
  • Sample grant agreement - exchange of letters
  • End of Project report template

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