Now Open – for those in drought affected locations

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, has announced the opening of Round Four of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).

Round Four is aimed at supporting drought-affected regions by targeting projects that will benefit communities affected by drought. Applications will be ineligible if projects are not located in a drought-affected location, and if satisfactory evidence is not provided to support the applicants claims. The BBRF Guidelines list examples of what evidence can be provided to support claims that projects are located in a drought-affected region.

Note that this round is open for less than 5 weeks. Writing a competitive application in this timeframe is a challenging task. Please let us assist you in identifying your potential eligibility before you commit your valuable time to this process.

The closing date for applications is 19 December 2019.

For further information please contact:
Robin Gregory, for Central Australia projects – 0417 781 272
Leah Garnett, for Top End projects – 08 8941 7550
Kate Peake, for general enquiries – 0402 351 498

The BBRF application portal is now open and can be accessed here.

Our Comments on Eligibility

We suspect it will be very hard to argue that there are any places in the NT that will be considered “drought affected locations”. According to the guidelines the applicant can use the following evidence to show their project is in a drought affected location:

  • Local government areas that are eligible for the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Programme – Extension. There are no eligible NT LGAs.
  • Projects located in a locality drought-declared by the relevant state or territory government. The NT has no drought declared areas.
  • Official BOM rainfall data indicating an extended period without or significant decline in rainfall. The BOM maps below show the 18-month and 33-month rainfall deficiencies across Australia, some areas of the NT have had very low rainfall over the last 18 months but very few areas have had low rainfall over the last 33 months. If you were to apply for BBRF in this round this is the best evidence to use, however we suspect that they will prioritize projects in those areas that have had low rainfall over the last 33 months.
  • Demonstrated impact of economic and/or employment decline as a result of drought. This will be difficult to argue except in very specific industry circumstances.