Resource hub

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

Frequently Asked Questions 

Birdwaters at Western Treatment Plant

Types of grants and partnerships

What is a ‘support grant’ and how do I find out if I am eligible?

Support grants are available for community groups only 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 for this application type.

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. 

Preparing your project proposal

How much money can I apply for?

Projects will be looked upon favourably if they are costed fairly in accordance to the activities, can be achieved 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.

Please contact us if you have any questions about what is 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 your organisation is not incorporated, you must arrange for an incorporated organisation (an ‘auspice group’) to manage the grant funds and take financial and legal responsibility for the project. You must confirm the auspice arrangement in writing when submitting the grant application. The auspicing group must agree to:

  • signing the grant agreement
  • all legal and financial responsibility of the grant on your organisation’s behalf
  • receiving and distributing grant funds under the grant agreement
  • ensuring all grant activities or events are completed
  • submitting accountability and evaluation reports and financial acquittals on your organisation's behalf.

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. Applications that contribute an amount that is equal to the funds requested 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:

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.
  • 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. 

It is recommended that you attach quotes for ALL applications to support the proposed budget and funds applied for.  

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 prior to making any changes. 

Considering heritage, risks and safety

What do I need to know about sites and places of Cultural Heritage Significance? 

It is important that you ensure your project complies with State legislation (Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006) regarding the protection of significant cultural heritage (historical and Aboriginal) sites and places. The responsibility is on the land manager or organisation to identify any cultural heritage sites and prevent damage to those sites. Penalties apply if the correct process is not followed.

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

  1. Cultural Heritage Sensitivity on the Aboriginal Affairs Victoria (AAV). 
  2. Browse planning schemes showing Heritage Overlays for the municipality in which your project is located.

If your project site is within an Aboriginal cultural heritage area, you will need to contact Aboriginal Affairs Victoria or seek the advice of a Cultural Heritage Advisor.
Phone: 1800 762 003 
GPO 2392 
Melbourne VIC 3001 

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

AAV and/or a Cultural Heritage Advisor can provide advice on the location of registered sites or places of cultural heritage significance. 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. 

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 pre-project planning is undertaken to reduce these risks. It is also recommended that you complete a Task Risk Assessment (TRA) or Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) to accompany your proposal.

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?
  • What are the measures in place to reduce these risks?


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:
28 October 2020