Applicant questions and answers

Will projects already funded under another NSW Government grant program, but not yet constructed, be eligible under the SSWP for additional funding?

While co-funded projects are encouraged, "double dipping" is not. Projects that have previously received NSW Government funding would need to clearly justify further NSW Government support and will be considered on the merit of the total benefits and costs.

Will an EOI form be required for each individual project where multiple projects are proposed by one applicant?

Yes, individual EOI forms will be required for each project.

Does the Program include funding to purchase another LWUs water/waste water business?

Expansion of a LWU's business does not seem to fit under the Program criteria.

Which dams, prescribed in the Dam Safety Act as being above the 'limit of tolerability', will be considered for funding to repair or decommission?

The following dams are considered eligible to apply for funding under the Program;

  • Dumaresq Dam
  • Gosling Creek Dam
  • Winburndale Dam
  • Imperial Lake Dam, and
  • Palm Tree Grove Dam

What guidelines are available for Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA)?

The department will provide further guidance and support on requirements for a Business Case including development of CBA when inviting Detailed Applications. A CBA is not required for EOIs.

My project doesn't appear to be eligible, but still has merit. What can I do?

There are a range of other NSW Government regional programs which may be better suited to your project. These include the Restart NSW Resources for Regions and Regional Growth: Economic Activation Fund. Visit the Infrastructure NSW website for more information

Are upgrades to water and sewerage infrastructure due to regulatory changes (e.g. pond lining to meet EPA requirements) eligible?

Yes.

Will the same funding ratios apply to all three project phases?

Yes.

How long will it take from submission of a detailed application to the signing of a funding deed?

We are very focused on completing the technical assessment of EOIs and Detailed applications as quickly as possible, although assessment times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposal. The department does not control the funding approval stage which is managed by Infrastructure  NSW however we can facilitate feedback to the applicant on progression through the funding approval process.

Would a private partnership for infrastructure where private entities would benefit be eligible?

Projects that benefit multiple parties and meet regional scale strategic targets are highly valued; however only those components which meet Program eligibility criteria would be funded.

If we've already completed a scoping study and business case, do we need to do them again through the Program?

No. An applicant can provide a scoping study or business case that they have self-funded and it will be considered as long as it meets Program assessment criteria. If a Program requirement (e.g. CBA in a Business Case) is missing, you can seek funding under the Program to complete that requirement.

A presentation was given at the Information Sessions. Will it be made publicly available?

The presentation given by the department to potential applicants at the Information Sessions throughout NSW in later August and September will be made publicly available on the website once all Information Sessions are complete.

Would purchase of land which will be inundated by a dam upgrade be eligible?

The Program funds water and sewerage infrastructure. Land purchase directly related to a dam upgrade (such as land for increased dam wall footings) may be eligible. Funding for the purchase of land not directly related to water and sewerage infrastructure would not be eligible.

My project meets the EOI guidelines eligibility criteria and I want to apply for phase 1 funding for scoping, but I'm not sure the project will qualify. How do I know what's eligible for phase 1 funding?

Eligibility for phase 1 (scoping) funds requires a clearly defined problem, supporting information detailing why the problem is significant, and evidence that points to an infrastructure solution. Your regional contact can assist with this.

Is there a minimum or maximum project value?

No.

Does each phase of a project require a new EOI?

Yes. Individual EOIs, and a subsequent Detailed Application if EOI is successful, will be required for each phase of a project. A successful funding application for one phase does not guarantee that subsequent phase/s will receive funding.

I have a lot of supporting information. Can I attach this to my EOI?

No. Attachments are expected to be required at EOI submission. Attachments should only be included where invited to submit a Detailed Application.

Have other NSW Government agencies committed to quickly processing relevant approvals?Have other NSW Government agencies committed to quickly processing relevant approvals?

Applicants should liaise with all relevant approval agencies to ascertain approval times and allow for these in their project planning.

Is funding retrospective?Is funding retrospective?

No.

Does a LWU have to be fully compliant with the NSW 'Best-Practice Management (BPM) of Water Supply and Sewerage' framework to be eligible for funding under the SSWP?

The Best Practice Management framework provides a strong basis for good planning, management and the continued performance improvement of LWUs. Compliance of the framework is not a pre-requisite for financial assistance under the SSWP however applicants will need to demonstrate that their project is consistent with an appropriate strategic infrastructure planning process such as an IWCM strategy. Directly related Best Practice framework elements may also be taken into account.

What does 'annual revenue' refer to?

Annual revenue' refers to the annual revenue of the entity applying for funding.  For local water utilities, annual revenue is defined in the NSW Water and Sewerage Performance Monitoring Report published annually by the department. See page 8 of the EOI guidelines for additional detail.

How do you put a number on the public health benefit?

An assessment tool was developed as part of the Backlog program that allows for costing of health benefits based on scientific literature. This tool is being redeveloped/enhanced for the SSWP. Once it is ready and approved, clearly defined guidelines will be publicised to all relevant applicants. We  are working with Treasury to ensure all benefits (health, environmental) are able to be captured in the BCR purposes.

Is there a maximum number of projects for an LWU?

No. There is no maximum number of projects that a LWU can apply for funding for; however applicants are strongly encouraged to prioritise their proposed works.

How long do we have to submit a detailed application?

Invitation to submit a detailed application will remain valid for 12 months from the date of the invitation.

Will a draft funding deed or template be made available?

Yes. It will be made available to successful applicants, but is not available yet.

When will Technical Review Panel meetings occur?

On an as-needed basis, depending on the number of EOIs received. The first one is anticipated to occur in early November 2017.

Is staging or packaging of projects allowed?

Yes; however the reasons for staging and sequential timing would be taken into consideration and the applicant would need to carefully consider the implications staging may have on the cost benefit analysis, as well as the ability of the applicant to deliver packaged projects.

Can you reapply if you haven't been successful previously?

Those projects deemed ineligible should not reapply.

What level of contingency is appropriate?

It is up to the applicant to balance the risk of low contingency versus the risk of not meeting the required cost benefit ratio.

Are Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategies funded under Phases 1 and 2?

The aim of the SSWP is to plan, design and construct specific infrastructure projects, rather than strategic planning. If an IWCM is the best way for an applicant to demonstrate the need for a particular piece of infrastructure, it may be eligible for funding as a Phase 1, scoping study. If it is for strategic business purposes, it would not meet SSWP eligibility requirements. It is up to the applicant to make the case.

Are 'in-kind' contributions, such as wages for project/consultant management, included?

Reasonable costs for project management can be included, but should not include business-as-usual time spent by staff to operate the project.

We have a 'shovel ready' project and have submitted an EOI. Can we start work on the project before funding is approved?

Based on updated advice from Treasury, any project with a contract signed prior to funding confirmation by the Minister will become ineligible for funding through the SSWP.

Will technology projects such as the use of radar technology to predict weather conditions and optimise operation be eligible for funding from the SSWP?

The aim of the SSWP is to plan, design and construct specific infrastructure projects relating to water and sewerage. If a specific technology is the best way for an applicant to achieve an outcome relating to water and sewerage infrastructure, it may be eligible. If the technology is purely for strategic or other business purposes, it would not meet SSWP eligibility requirements. It is up to the applicant to make the case.