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Find information to help your application and learn more about Melbourne Water and our partner agencies' strategic priorities. 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Types of grants and partnerships

What is a ‘partnership’ arrangement?

Our Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways Program is suitable for small project applications through to longer term partnership arrangements.  

Partnerships are defined as multi-year initiatives with shared scoping, shared resourcing and mutually beneficial outcomes. Partnerships can result in new approaches, products and ways of working together that can have positive impacts on our community and environment. 

What support do you provide for community groups?

In addition to funding to deliver on ground activities such as weed control and revegetation, we continue to offer support to community groups for building organisational capacity; for example, combining funding for group promotion, administration, development and educational activities. 

Eligible activities include contributions to the cost of activities which support the group or enhance the group’s capacity to deliver a successful on-ground project. Items considered eligible for funding include: insurance, incorporation fees, advertising and printing costs, project site signs and relevant workshops/training events for improving knowledge of waterway health.

Melbourne Water must be confident that funding will be used for distinct and well-planned activities. The maximum funding is $1,000 (ex GST). You do not need to provide matching funds if applying for community group support as outlined above.

Preparing your project proposal

How much money can I apply for?

We will look favourably on projects that are costed fairly based on the activities involved and represent value for money.

Based on our experience, we have a good understanding of industry benchmark costs to undertake a range of activities. Where published benchmarks exist, we will use these to guide what funding you will get and where these benchmarks don’t exist, we will base it on quotes. If you are a private landholder, our Assessors will work with you to determine the amount of funding. For more information visit our Private Landholders page.

Please contact us if you have any questions about an appropriate amount of funding for any of your project activities.

What are the incorporation requirements for my funding application? 

Information on how to incorporate your group is available from the Department of Consumer Affairs website.

If you are applying on behalf of an organisation that is not incorporated, you must arrange for an incorporated organisation (an ‘auspice group’) to manage the funds and take financial and legal responsibility for the delivery of the project. You must confirm the auspice arrangement in writing when you submit the application. The auspicing group must agree to:

sign the funding agreement all legal and financial responsibility for project delivery on your organisation’s behalf receive and distribute funds under the grant agreement ensure all funded activities or events are completed submit reports and financial acquittals on your organisation's behalf.


It is recommended that you attach quotes to support the proposed budget and funds applied for. We encourage you to discuss your project idea with us before applying.

For private landholder applications there is no requirement to supply supporting documentation with your application. Our Assessors will visit your site and discuss with you the activities you would like to undertake. They will work with you to scope your project and advise you on costs, budget and the amount of funding.  

What if my project changes?

We understand that things happen which may lead to a need to change your project. If you wish to make a change to your original project scope, you must consult with the Regional Incentives Officer to seek approval before making any changes. 

  • For detailed design or construction of a stormwater treatment system it is highly recommended that you attach a MUSIC model to your application. 
  • For any on ground works, you must attach a site map. 

How do I create my budget?

Ensure that your budget is accurate and reflects the full cost of the project including the value of in-kind support. 

Provide as much detail as possible about the cost of each activity for your project including brief details about the activity. For example, consultancy fees for design, the area to be sprayed, number of plants or number of people involved, number of contractor hours, cubic metres of rock, underground tanks and excavation. Where appropriate, specify both the rate and quantity used to calculate the costs. 

Applicants must show in their budget their contribution amount in matching the funds requested in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. Ongoing works, care and maintenance may be part of your in-kind contribution. Applications that contribute an amount that is equal to the funds requested (both cash and in-kind) will be looked upon more favourably. Co-contributions would come from you as the applicant but could come from another organisation or group as well. These should be detailed in separate lines of the budget, as shown the following examples:

If you are a private landholder, our assessors will advise you on a budget.

What information should I attach to my application?

We recommended you provide any information to support your application. There are specific attachments required depending on the applicant type or activities you are applying for:

For work on public land, you must attach approval from the land manager.

Considering heritage, risks and safety

What do I need to know about historical and Aboriginal cultural heritage? 

It is important that you ensure your project complies with State legislation (the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Heritage Act 2017) regarding the protection of cultural, Aboriginal and historical heritage.

Aboriginal cultural heritage includes Aboriginal places, objects and Ancestral Remains. Historic heritage includes places of significance based on historical, physical (i.e technological, archaeological, architectural) and cultural values.

The responsibility is on the land manager or organisation to identify any cultural heritage and prevent damage or harm. Penalties apply if the correct process is not followed, resulting in unlawful harm.

To determine whether your project is in an area of cultural heritage sensitivity, review the following maps: 

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information System (ACHRIS) online tool, which indicatively maps ‘areas of cultural heritage sensitivity’ and registered Aboriginal places and objects (note that all named waterways and all land within 200 metres of named waterways are defined as areas of cultural heritage sensitivity, but this does not include areas subject to past significant ground disturbance). For historic heritage, you may either use the ACHRIS system or browse the map on the Heritage Victoria website: Is My Place Heritage Listed? Browse planning schemes showing Heritage Overlays for the municipality in which your project is located. You can also use VicPlan which allows you to print a planning property report and gives you links to planning scheme overlays and schedules.


No work is permitted in or on the banks of any waterway in the Port Phillip and Westernport region without prior approval from Melbourne Water. 

It is also important to consider other risks to your project, for example:

Have you identified any risks that may impact on the completion of your project? Have you identified any safety hazards? What are the measures in place to reduce these risks?

If your project covers any area of Aboriginal cultural heritage sensitivity, as defined by the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018, you will need to consider if your proposed activities could impact any Aboriginal cultural heritage.

If your proposed activity is a regulated ‘high impact’ activity, you may need to prepare a mandatory Cultural Heritage Management Plan, with the assistance of a Cultural Heritage Advisor. For more information, please visit Cultural heritage assessment plans, permits, agreements and tests – Aboriginal Victoria, or contact Heritage Services in the First Peoples State Relations Group, Department of Premier and Cabinet at [email protected], or call the Victorian Government Contact Centre on 1800 762 003.

Please include a separate activity/budget item for a consultant to assess your project area for sites of Indigenous Cultural Heritage.

If your project site is within an area of historical cultural heritage significance, for example a heritage overlay exists where you would like to work, then you will need to contact the relevant Council planning department for advice. 

Our Assessors will discuss cultural heritage sensitivity with private landholders during their site visit.

How do I consider safety and risks as part of my project? 

Safety is the greatest importance at Melbourne Water and is considered in our safety commitment as ‘safety for our people, assets and community’. If you do identify any hazards relating to your proposal, it is important that you undertake pre-project planning to reduce these risks. We also recommended that you complete a Task Risk Assessment (TRA) or Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) to accompany your proposal.

Submitting your online application

How do I know if my application has been submitted?

Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a copy of your application and an application ID. Please use this ID number for all communications with Melbourne Water.

Sugarloaf Reservoir

Browse our strategies, plans and reports

Browse through our strategies, plans and reports to understand how your application fits in with our strategic priorities.  

View our publications


Resources from our partner agencies

Integrated Water Management Forums

These forums have been established across the state to identify, prioritise and oversee the holistic implementation of collaborative water opportunities. Victoria's Integrated Water Management Forums have produced a Strategic Directions Statement that captures the regional context, shared vision and water-related outcomes for each of the Forum areas across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Water for Victoria plan

The Victorian Government has set a new long-term direction for managing Victoria's precious water resources, to meet the challenges of climate change and population growth, and taking action to ensure our water system is modern and efficient, future-focused and affordable.

Waterways of the West

The Victorian Government is developing a new Waterways of the West Action Plan to ensure that Melbourne’s western waterways are healthy and thriving for years to come, contributing to Melbourne’s identity as a vibrant and liveable city.


Last updated:
31 January 2023