Risk and Resilience Grants Program applicant guidelines

Applicant guidelines

This a guide to the operation and administration of the Risk and Resilience Grants Program (‘the Program’). Please read these guidelines carefully before starting your application.


The Risk and Resilience Grants Program

The Program is funded by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department under the National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (NPA) (External link) signed by the Prime Minister and Premier.

Under the NPA, Victoria develops an Implementation Plan for approval by the Commonwealth Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management to receive funding for the Program. Emergency Management Victoria is responsible for administering the Program.

The NPA aims to reduce the risk and limit the impact of disasters associated with natural hazards on Australian communities and economies and will deliver on the priorities and goals of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework (External link) (the Framework). 

The Framework guides national efforts to reduce disaster risk in order to minimise the loss and suffering caused by disasters. Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework.


Eligible organisations

The following organisations from Victoria can apply for funding:

  • State government departments and agencies, including agencies with floodplain management responsibilities
  • municipal councils
  • volunteer emergency service organisations
  • peak bodies and incorporated associations/organisations with an emergency management purpose, connection or interest
  • research institutions
  • private and non-government organisations, including small business and associated business groups

Suitable projects

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that the project contributes to at least one outcome under the NPA (External link) and falls within the parameters of the NPA outputs and National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework’s priorities (External link) to be considered for funding.

Projects must focus on at least one of the following key themes:

  • Climate change adaption and risk reduction – supporting climate change adaption and mitigation initiatives that reduce disaster risk.
  • Designing for risk and resilience – supporting initiatives that strengthen the resilience of Victoria infrastructure including government and community infrastructure.
  • Managing local and regional risks and building resilience – supporting initiatives that improve understanding of local or regional disaster risks, strengthen accountability for and governance of regional risks, and/or support initiatives that are seeking to directly reduce disaster risk at a local or regional level.

Project duration

The Program is targeting short term projects. Projects are expected to be finalised within a 12-month period from execution of the funding agreement.

In some cases, consideration may be given for a longer duration (up to 24 months) if an applicant can provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate the need for a longer duration.



The following projects are ineligible for the Program:

  • Ongoing program funding or funding for projects considered to be core business of an organisation
  • Purchase (where an organisation normally provides for such investment), maintenance or upkeep of assets
  • Projects that have already commenced or are complete
  • Projects that are funded under other grant or government funding programs
  • Projects developing products or services for commercial application, including by the not-for-profit sector, will not be considered for funding.
  • Projects that primarily confer a potential commercial benefit upon the applicant or a key partner will not be considered.

Projects that are an element of another larger project will only be considered if it will produce a discrete output that is useable on its own, even if further stages are not funded.

Government Policy

To be approved, projects must be consistent with the policies and intentions of the Australian and Victorian Governments. Projects may be rejected on the grounds that approval would generate a policy or a precedent that either or both governments are unwilling or not ready to take up. Refer to the Links and resources section for a list of resources and documents.


What funding is available?

Applicants may apply for a minimum of $10,000 and up to $250,000 (GST exclusive).

See the section on applicant contribution for further information.


Funding conditions

Grants will be conditional upon applicants agreeing to comply with the following:

  • Victorian Government’s Common Funding Agreement (External link) including periodic progress reports, a final report, acquittal documentation and evidence of outputs and outcomes
  • Funds cannot be used as a state or local contribution for a project under another Commonwealth Government grants scheme requiring shared funding
  • Similarly, Commonwealth funds may not be used as all or part of the local funding contribution to a project funded under the program.
  • Australian Government funding under the National Partnership Agreement, and any State Government funding provided in conjunction, being publicly acknowledged in all publications, promotional and advertising materials, public announcements and activities or any products, processes or inventions developed under the program.​​​

Flood projects

DELWP provides funding for eligible flood risk assessments and flood warning system infrastructure projects to complement funds from the NPA. For such projects, applicants must demonstrate a funding contribution towards their projects, either cash and/or in-kind which amounts to at least one third of project costs. Further details on contributions can be found in the section on applicant contributions.

In respect of land abutting the coastline or a coastal reserve, which is less than 5 metres Australian Height Datum or within one kilometre of the coastline (including the Gippsland Lakes), the application must comply with Victorian Government policy articulated in the Victorian Coastal Strategy 2014 (External link).

Applicants for flood projects should consult with their relevant catchment management authority and enlist their support. Evidence of this consultation should be included in the application.

There is an expectation that for projects that includes the production of flood mapping, the organisation must provide project outputs to the FloodZoom platform for uploading.

Urban or town stormwater and drainage projects are not considered as flood risk resilience projects and will not be eligible for funding under the Program.

Applicant contribution

Grant funds must be matched by the applicant on at least a dollar for dollar basis, either cash or in kind. This can be provided by a single agency or can be from multiple sources (not including the Commonwealth). It is the applicant’s responsibility to establish and manage funding arrangements with other sources.

  • Flood projects - the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) provides funding for eligible flood risk resilience projects to complement funds from the NPA. For such projects, applicants must demonstrate a funding contribution towards their projects, either cash and/or in-kind, which amounts to at least one third of project costs.
  • Special access - ​​​​​​​Consideration may be given to applicants unable to meet the 50 per cent applicant contribution (for example low capacity councils or volunteer organisations). The application form provides space to justify a request for lower than 50 per cent applicant contribution. Special access is not available for flood projects.

Any applicant’s offer of a financial contribution of greater than 50 per cent may assist in having a project approved for funding, subject to all other elements of the application combining to accord it high priority.


Application process

Applications for the Program must be submitted through SmartyGrants (External link), a web-based grants management system. Applicants can preview the application form on SmartyGrants.

The closing date for applications is 4.00pm, Wednesday 2 June 2021. The SmartyGrants system automatically closes applications at this time.  We strongly recommend you do not leave applications until the last minute. Late applications will not be accepted.

Applications must be made online and are to include:

  • a proposed workplan including an outline of activities, outputs and outcomes
  • a detailed budget, including budget phasing
  • a statement outlining alignment to the NPA and the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework
  • the need for the project and the evidence for it
  • approval by the appropriate head of the organisation, department or council

Ideally, flood project proposals will have been identified and prioritised in the relevant regional floodplain management strategy. Where this is not the case an explanation of the process followed to identify the need for the project should be provided.

An automated email will be sent following submission of an application, advising that an application has successfully been submitted. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please email emvgrants@emv.vic.gov.au (External link).


Assessment process and criteria

Applications are assessed and prioritised by a panel including all-hazard emergency management, flood mitigation and planning experts. Panel members will review eligibility and score applications against the criteria. Final approval resides with the Minister for Policy and Emergency Services.

EMV or the panel may seek confidential advice from independent experts on any application. The panel may also request additional conditions or suggest amendments by an applicant to a project or suggest deferral of an application to a future funding round so that the applicant can address particular matters.

Panel members are only provided with your application prior to meeting. Any supplementary material you submit is provided for reference at the assessment meeting but may not be reviewed in detail. It is therefore critical that you capture the key project elements within the application form.

Assessment criteria

Grant applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Evidence, significance and priority of the risk or need
  • Quality of the proposal
  • Potential value or benefits of the outcomes and output in relation to addressing the need of a Victorian community
  • Ease of implementation and delivery (including that arrangements are in place to ensure the project is delivered within budget and timelines)

Additional criteria for research projects:

  • Evidence of end-user interest in project outcomes
  • Endorsement from a recognised emergency management organisation stating that there is a direct interest in the research findings or product (only relevant if applicant is not a recognised emergency management organisation in the State Emergency Management Plan)
  • How the outputs of the project will either be used by the applicant for a public purpose or how they are to be made available to other organisations at no or a nominal cost

Additional criteria for experimental or pilot projects:

  • Inclusion of a rigorous evaluation and detailed project documentation
  • Demonstration that the transition of the project to normal business or other ongoing funding has been considered

Prioritisation considerations

Funding decisions may also be informed by:

  • Inclusion of Aboriginal people/groups in developing proposal and/or in implementing the project
  • Innovation, transferability and scalability
  • Additional benefits gained through collaboration
  • Regional spread of projects
  • Agency, applicant or project diversity
  • Previous project grants under this or related programs and where other project/s have not progressed according to their original timeframe
  • Where other project/s are a precursor to the project and are not close to completion

Next steps

Once a project is approved and the formal offer of a grant is made, applicants will be required to sign a funding agreement with EMV within 30 business days of receiving the letter of offer.

Projects are expected to commence as soon as possible and no more than 30 business days of receipt of the executed agreement.

Failure to adhere to these requirements may result in the offer of a grant being withdrawn. Approved projects will receive 50 per cent of the approved grant on commencement of the project. The balance of funds will be paid at the discretion of EMV, and once reporting requirements are met, subject to adequate funds being provided to Victoria by the Commonwealth.

At a project’s completion, a final report must be submitted including a copy of any document, report or other printed output produced by the project, together with a statement of compliance and audited financial statements. These must be signed by the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Finance Officer, or their equivalent.


Key dates

Applications close

2 June 2021

Successful applicants notified

by late July 2021

Funding agreements issued

August 2021

Projects commence

by October 2021

Final Report and acquittal documentation
submitted (if 12-month project)

by September 2022



Read these guidelines and complete the following checklist.

Have you:

  • read these guidelines carefully?
  • checked if you are, or your organisation is, eligible for this grant funding?
  • checked if your activity is eligible for this grant funding?
  • checked that you would be able to comply with all relevant laws and regulations in delivery of your activity?
  • prepared the appropriate supporting documents?

Contacts and further information

For more information, please contact the EMV grants team via email at emvgrants@emv.vic.gov.au (External link)



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