Land Sector Package

Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund

Frequently asked questions

Capacity Building and Business Support Stream

What is the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund?

The Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund has been established to help Indigenous Australians to participate in the Carbon Farming Initiative. It is being delivered in two streams:

  1. The Capacity Building and Business Support stream provides funding for Indigenous organisations and individuals to access carbon farming specialists, business development expertise and legal advice for developing governance and contractual arrangements for carbon farming projects. This stream is being administered through the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; and
  2. The Research and Development stream provides funding for the development of Carbon Farming Initiative methodologies likely to have high Indigenous participation. This stream is being administered separately by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. You can register your interest in receiving email updates about the Research and Development stream by emailing the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency at ICFF@climatechange.gov.au.

Who can apply for an Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund Grant?

The Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund welcomes applications from Indigenous organisations and individuals interested in exploring opportunities under the Carbon Farming Initiative or in progressing carbon farming or related businesses.

Where the applicant is an individual, the applicant will need to be able to supply a statutory declaration confirming their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. Where the applicant is an organisation, the applicant needs to be an Indigenous organisation.

A legally incorporated entity in Australia can act as a contract manager on behalf of an Indigenous organisation applicant provided they can supply a letter of consent from the Indigenous organisation applicant.

Applicants should consult the eligibility section in the grant application guidelines for specific activities that are eligible for funding.

Is the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund linked to the Carbon Farming Initiative?

The Carbon Farming Initiative is one of the programs under the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future. It allows land managers to earn carbon credits by storing carbon or reducing greenhouse gas emissions on the land.

There are two broad categories of Carbon Farming Initiative activities:

Indigenous co-benefits, (including cultural, social or economic benefit) can provide proponents with an additional opportunity to sell carbon credits at a premium price.

How much money is available through Round One of the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund?

Funding of $1.3m is available in Round one of the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund through a competitive grants program. There are two categories of funding available - Category 1 grants for feasibility assessment activities, up to $50,000 (GST exclusive); and Category 2 grants for business and project development activities up to $300,000 (GST exclusive). Funds will be capped at the funding limit specified but expenditure of these grants over multiple financial years may be approved on a case by case basis.

What opportunities are there for Indigenous Australians to access other programs under the Land Sector package to implement their project?

The Biodiversity Fund is a great opportunity for Indigenous applicants to achieve biodiversity outcomes on country as well as maximise new carbon market opportunities. Subsequent funding rounds may allow Indigenous organisations to apply for funds to implement 'on ground' works associated with establishing a carbon farming business.

Which Indigenous groups can apply for funding?

Applications are welcomed from all Indigenous groups and individuals, providing they meet the eligibility criteria as set out in the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund Grant Application Guidelines.

Are State agencies eligible applicants for the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund?

No. The applicant must be an Indigenous organisation or individual. Successful applicants may choose to work in partnership with state agencies or other partners.

Applications

It is recommended that potential applicants read the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund guidelines in full before submitting an application.

How do I get the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund 2011-12 Round One guidelines and application form?

The guidelines and application forms for the ICFF can be found at: www.environment.gov.au/cleanenergyfuture/icff

If you are unable to access the application, you can request a hard copy application form by contacting the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund hotline: 1800 008 678 (toll free excluding mobile and public phones).

Where do I submit the completed application form for the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund?

Applications can be submitted electronically to the email address below:

icff@environment.gov.au

or hard copy applications posted to:

Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund
Indigenous Policy Branch
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA 2601

When do Round One applications close?

Both electronic and hard copy applications must be received by 5pm on 12 December 2012 (AEDT).

Will hard copy applications be accepted?

While electronic applications are preferred, hard copies will be accepted and are available for those who do not have internet access. You can request a hard copy application form by contacting the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund hotline on 1800 008 678 (toll free excluding mobile and public phones).

Will late applications be accepted?

Late applications may be considered under extenuating circumstances provided an alternative timeframe has been agreed prior to the closing date.

Any requests for an extension of time to lodge an application must be made to the department prior to 5pm 12 December 2012 AEDT. Such requests should be directed, in writing, to the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund team at icff@environment.gov.au

The department has no obligation to accept a late application. Any decision to accept or not accept a late application is at the department's absolute discretion and will be final.

Can I submit extra information in support of my application?

Yes. Please note that while the assessment panel may consider additional information provided, it is not obligated to do so.

Additional information listed below can also be submitted with your applicationL

What information should my application include?

Before beginning your application, read the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund Grant Application Guidelines to determine your eligibility to apply and the assessment criteria you should consider when putting your proposal together.

Can I submit more than one application?

Applicants may submit proposals for more than one project. Each proposal is considered individually and should be capable of being implemented regardless of whether other applications are successful.

When does my project need to be completed by?

Projects will generally be funded for a single year. All grants will be capped at the funding limit specified in the Guidelines; however the expenditure of grants over multiple financial years may be approved on a case by case basis.

How can I access further information about the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund 2012-13?

Further information relating to the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund can be accessed by:

  1. reading the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund Grant Application Guidelines - Round One
  2. visiting www.environment.gov.au/cleaneenrgyfuture/icff
  3. emailing the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund team at icff@environment.gov.au
  4. calling the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund hotline: 1800 008 678 (toll free excluding mobile and public phones) between 9am and 4pm AEDT Monday to Friday.

What administrative costs should I include in my project budget?

Administration expenses are those costs associated with administering your project. Costs may include audit/accounting, phone/internet bills, printing/photocopying, costs associated with legally required documents such as permits etc.

Applicants should remember that project proposals will be assessed on the basis of value for money. Proposals that represent greatest benefit for every dollar invested will be considered of greater merit.

Process after proposals have been submitted

Can I make changes to my application once it has been submitted?

If you need to alter your application after it has been submitted but before the application period closes, please contact the department.

If you submit a new application form (replacing an existing application), please email icff@environment.gov.au to notify the department and avoid any confusion during the assessment process.

How will my application be assessed?

All applications will be assessed by a representative from within the department and by an Indigenous community assessor and/or a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee.

Suitable projects will be submitted to the Land Sector Carbon and Biodiversity Board for advice before recommendations for funding are made to the Minister.

Applications will be assessed against the following three assessment criteria:
Criterion 1 - Consistency with the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund objectives
Criterion 2 - Value for money
Criterion 3 - Capacity

More information on the assessment criteria is available in Section 4.3 of the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund Grant Application Guidelines.

Funding

Can proposals include administration costs, or costs incurred from the application process?

The Australian Government understands that administration is an integral part of delivering an Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund project and accepts a proportionate amount in the budget for that purpose.

The Australian Government does not fund retrospectively, so costs incurred during the application process will not be funded.

Can an Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund grant be used to purchase equipment and other capital items?

The applicant will need to demonstrate, in the context of their project, how the purchase of equipment or other capital items represents value for public money and contributes to their ability to deliver against the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund objectives, as outlined in the grant application guidelines.

Is there a cap for funding?

Yes. Category 1 grants for Feasibility and Assessment activities are capped at $50,000 (GST exclusive) and Category 2 grants for Business and Project Development activities are capped at $300,000 (GST exclusive).

If you are successful

If my project application is successful, what are the next stages?

Successful applicants will be contacted by the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund team to discuss the funding agreement (contract).

If my project application is successful, when can I expect to receive funds?

The Australian Government will assess applications in a timely manner to enable payments to be made as soon as possible after the completion of the assessment process, submission to the Land Sector Carbon and Biodiversity Board for advice and announcement of successful projects by the Minister.

All grant payments for the project are subject to the successful applicant entering into, and complying with, the terms and conditions of the funding agreement.