Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down his second budget as treasurer in the Albanese government this week amid concerns of monetary tightening from community sector advocates.
For more on the response from community sector leaders, visit the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) full budget wrap.
Here are some of the key opportunities and highlights for not-for-profits, community groups and local councils:
- $741.3 million to support local and long-term environmental and agricultural outcomes through the Natural Heritage Trust, including:
- $341.2 million to protect nature, threatened species and habitats and to maintain delivery capability
- $302.1 million to support a sustainable agricultural sector including funding for natural resource management organisations, on-ground projects, and support for farmers
- $392.4 million for a new Industry Growth Program to support small and medium enterprises and start-ups to commercialise their ideas and grow their operations
- $311.2 million for a new grant program for Commonwealth Home Support Programme providers to cover the cost of an increase in award wages
- $286 million to support the arts, entertainment and cultural sector, including:
- $199 million for Creative Australia to support delivery of the Revive plan and to establish Music Australia, Writers Australia, Creative Workplaces, and a First Nations-led board
- $8.5 million to increase funding for the Regional Arts Fund to support cultural development in regional and remote communities
- $2.6 million to support specialist arts education programs in schools
- $211.7 million to establish the Thriving Suburbs Program to provide grants for community infrastructure in urban and suburban communities
- $200 million to support projects through the Disaster Ready Fund including levee upgrades, seawalls and bushfire risk reduction projects
- $194 million for a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan including:
- $145.3 million for activities to address immediate safety concerns for First Nations women and children
- $23.2 million to deliver place-based, trauma-aware and culturally responsive healing programs aimed at early intervention and recovery
- $17.6 million on family safety initiatives
- $159.7 million to establish the Urban Precincts and Partnerships Program to support investment in place-based priorities of local urban communities
- $150 million for Indigenous education and languages, including $46 million to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to provide skills training and funding to continue the Indigenous Ranger Biosecurity Program.
- $43.6 million to establish a new National Road Safety Action Grants Program. Funding will be consolidated from various funds including the Road Safety Innovation Fund, and the Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund
- $21.6 million to extend the Indigenous Boarding Providers grants program for one year
- $11.6 million for the Social Enterprise Development Initiative, which will provide grants and online education and mentoring
- $10 million to the National Australia Day Council to deliver grants for community events for Australia Day 2024
- $5 million in grants to help reduce the cultural barriers to women’s workforce participation, address workplace challenges, and support businesses to attract and retain women.
- $4 billion in additional funding over four years has been allocated for mental health, disability, domestic violence and homelessness services
- The Small Business Energy Incentive will support small and medium businesses to save on energy bills through incentivising the electrification of assets and improvements to energy efficiency. It’s unclear at this stage whether the Initiative will be open to not-for-profits
- A reduction in funding to the Export Market Development Grants program resulting in savings of $61 million over three years
- $400,000 in unspent funds will be reprioritised for an Early Learning Childcare Facilities Improvement Grant program to provide funding to early learning centres and other community organisations
It's still unclear when or how this money will trickle down to not-for-profits and community groups, but we'll be keeping our eyes peeled for grant updates relevant to Funding Centre members.
Speaking with Our Community Matters last month, Funding Centre manager Stef Ball said organisations should be ready to apply for eligible funds released in the coming months.
“I would suggest not-for-profits have clear projects in mind, so that when budget funding is released, they are ready to lodge their applications. The Funding Centre’s grants planning tool can assist grantseekers with developing their projects.”
The Funding Centre’s tools and resources page includes a wealth of other useful information for grantseekers looking to secure much-needed funds, including a grantseeking basics overview and a budget template.
In the meantime, log in to your Funding Centre account and sign up for alerts to be the first to know where the money is flowing, and to search for and manage your grant applications using the dashboard tool.