Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Healthy Communities Initiative

Phase 2 Local Government Area Grants

(updated 20 January 2011)



Eligibility and Funding


Who is eligible to apply for funding under Phase 2 of the Healthy Communities Initiative?

All Local Government Areas (LGAs) are eligible to apply for Phase 2, with the exception of the 12 LGAs already funded under the Pilot Phase. LGAs are required to complete an Application Form in accordance with the Applicant Guide. The assessment process will equally consider the assessment criterion outlined in the Applicant Guide.

Is a Regional Organisation of Councils eligible to apply for an LGA Grant?

Regional Organisation of Councils (RoCs) are eligible to apply. To do so, the support of each member council is required and details included at Attachment A of the Application Form. If a RoC is submitting an application, the member councils can not submit individual applications.

Can my LGA partner with another LGA?

Yes, LGAs may partner with another LGA. LGAs will need to demonstrate the value of the partnership and how target populations will be reached under the arrangement. A partnership between LGAs will only be eligible for the same amount of funds as a single LGA. The partnership must include a lead LGA who will be responsible for managing the grant.

Do partnering LGAs need to be located as direct neighbours or can they be separated by other LGAs not involved in the partnership?

It is preferable that partnering LGAs have neighbouring target populations. Where this is not feasible justification for the partnership should be explained.

Can an organisation that is not an LGA apply for the grant on behalf of the LGA?

No. An LGA must be the lead organisation. However, non-LGA organisations can partner with and work on the application with the lead LGA or group of LGAs.

Are state-wide Non-Government Organisations eligible to be involved in partnerships?

State-wide Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), including local branches or affiliates, may be involved in projects, but cannot be the lead organisation. LGAs should ensure that partnered NGOs are willing to apply for program and provider registration under the Quality Framework once the Registration Body is established.

I am a community member. Can I apply on behalf of my council?

Only LGAs are eligible to apply for funding. If you are a community member who thinks your community could benefit from an LGA Grant consider contacting your local council.

Are LGAs required to either match funding or contribute funds?

No. LGAs are only required to provide administrative and accommodation support for the Healthy Communities Coordinator function. There is no requirement for LGAs to match or contribute funds. However, LGAs wishing to contribute funding to augment the grant are welcome to do so.

How will offers of additional funding and/or in-kind support affect applications?

LGAs are not required to contribute funds, but are required to provide administrative and accommodation support for the Healthy Communities Coordinator function.

It is up to LGAs if they wish to include additional LGA and/or partner contributions or other in-kind support in their applications.

Can my LGA use funds to purchase or lease land, facilities or a vehicle?

As advised in the Program Guidelines, the grant cannot be used to purchase or lease land, facilities or vehicles.

I run a healthy lifestyle program that is popular in my local community. How can I access a grant to expand the program?

Only LGAs are eligible for funding under Phase 2 LGA Grants. You may wish to contact LGAs within your area to explore the possibility of working together. Your program could potentially be of interest to an LGA.

What level of detail is required to address the selection criteria? And how will these criteria be weighted?

As indicated in the Program Guidelines, applications will be weighted to assist disadvantaged communities or localities with a low SEIFA (Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas) rating based on the 2006 ABS SEIFA index of relative disadvantage. For level of detail required refer to the word limits within the Application Form.

Is it worth applying if an LGA is not low SEIFA?

Yes. As per the Program Guidelines, consideration will be given to LGAs with a medium or high SEIFA that can demonstrate pockets of disadvantage with low employment participation and high income support rates.

What are the implications for LGAs that are too small to provide robust data?

The Applicant Guide encourages contact with state health departments, local Divisions of General Practice and/or hospitals and health professionals to gather enough information to provide a ‘picture’ of chronic disease, obesity and overweight, and socio-economic disadvantage. Small councils should use whatever information is available to them.

Can an action research project model be used to ensure relevance to local community and ongoing monitoring?

Yes. An action research project model may be used. Needs assessment and consultation can be factored into projects, as one component, to inform the programs and activities.

For towns with smaller populations can programs be for ‘all of the community’, rather than special target groups?

Regardless of the size of the population, projects need to target adults who are not predominantly in the paid workforce. If an LGA is particularly small it may wish to consider partnering with another LGA.

Can the funding be used to implement a program for the wider community, but with a particular focus on one or more of the target groups?

Yes. As per the Program Guidelines, preference is for disadvantaged target populations whilst ensuring that the reach of the project maximises the effectiveness of the grant.

Are family based programs that target unemployed adults permissible?

Yes. These types of programs would be permissible because they are targeted at adults who are not predominantly in the paid workforce.

Could disengaged youth and/or youth in rural areas be included as a target group?

No. This initiative targets adults aged 18 and over.

Can opportunities to link arts and culture and mental health issues be incorporated where they meet other criteria?

Links with existing mental health and/or art services can occur as one element of a program or activity. However, it is outside the scope of the grant to have such services as a stand alone program or activity within the project. The primary focus must be on physical activity and healthy eating.

What are the expectations regarding the promotion of other health programs and campaigns (e.g., Commonwealth, state, and local)?

There are no specified expectations regarding the promotion of other programs and campaigns. Any linkages should support the aims and objectives of the Healthy Communities Initiative. However, it may be possible through the promotion of other health programs and campaigns to extend the reach of an LGA project.

Can the funding be used for existing programs where funding has run out?

Only where funding to a program has ceased and the objectives are consistent with the Program Guidelines. LGA Grant funds cannot be used to substitute for existing funding.

Is it more favourable to link to existing healthy lifestyle programs than to create new ones?

Such a decision will depend on the needs and capacity of your community.

What type of interventions were funded in the Pilot Phase?

Twelve (12) Pilot Phase LGAs are currently receiving funding. The range of activities and programs, as well as education and training services is unique to each LGA. Generally, each Pilot Phase LGA is undertaking activity across the following areas:

· direct service delivery – physical activity, nutrition, or healthy lifestyle programs;

· provision of education or training activity – capacity building to boost sustainability beyond the life of the funding;

· information sharing, awareness raising and community events;

· policy review and development; and

· evaluation.

The Program Guidelines specify what the grant can and cannot fund.

What level of detail is expected for an LGA financial system? Will some systems be regarded more highly than others?

Only a brief overview outlining financial system program specifications is required. LGAs must demonstrate that an appropriate system is in place with capacity to track expenditure, income and interest associated with the Healthy Communities funding stream. There are no system preferences.

What are your expectations for implementation of the project?

LGAs need to determine what is feasible in terms of implementation milestones within their community. Information in the project plan will feed into the funding agreement, and it is recommended that deliverables and milestones be realistic and achievable.

Is there any indication of continuation of funds after 2013?

LGAs successful in securing funding in Phase 2 will be funded to June 2013. At this stage no funding is available beyond June 2013. LGAs should focus on ensuring that healthy living behaviour adopted in the community through the project is sustainable beyond the project period.

What is the likely payment schedule?

Payment to the total of $703,606 (GST exclusive) per grant will be made incrementally. Payments will be made in line with planned activities and expenses associated with program delivery across the life of each grant. The amounts that will be distributed in each financial year are indicated in the table below:

Financial Year

Total Amount







Will my LGA be penalised if we choose not to apply for Phase 2, but apply for funding in Phase 3?

No. An LGA will not be penalised if they do not wish to apply for funding in Phase 2 and will be eligible to apply in Phase 3.

If LGAs are not successful in Phase 2, what is the process for applying in Round 3? Will consideration be given to previous applications?

LGAs that are not successful in Phase 2 may reapply in Phase 3. Feedback will be available for those LGAs unsuccessful in Phase 2.

Is it possible to have an extension?

As per Addendum #1 distributed on 19 January 2011, the application period for these grants has already been extended from 4 February 2011 to 18 February 2011 due to flooding in many parts of Australia. No further extensions will be granted. LGAs who are not in a position to submit an application by this date are encouraged to apply for funding in Phase 3.

When will Phase 3 be advertised?

Phase 3 is expected to be advertised in mid 2011.

Can you provide comments on my proposal?

It is not appropriate for the Department to provide feedback to potential applicants about their proposed applications as this is a competitive grant funding process.

Can grant funds be used to engage sub-contractors to provide activities or programs?

Yes, sub-contractors may be engaged to provide activities or programs on the LGA’s behalf. The role of sub-contractors in the Project should be identified in the application.

Can the entire grant be provided to another organisation to administer the Project?

No. An LGA can work in partnership with other organisations, but it must remain responsible for the grant. It is important that the grant funds be used to assist in increasing the capacity of the LGA to promote healthy living and to influence local policy direction, and this is likely to be best achieved through local councils. At a minimum, LGAs must employ a HCC as an internal employee to coordinate the Project.


Healthy Communities Coordinator


Does my LGA have to employ a Healthy Communities Coordinator?

Healthy Communities Coordinators (HCC) are important to ensuring the effective implementation of the Initiative in communities. Participating LGAs must have somebody fulfilling the functions of a HCC. An existing employee could undertake this role where there is capacity. Successful LGAs will be required to demonstrate that the function is being performed. Experience from the 12 Pilot Phase LGAs has shown that the role is best filled full time.

Can the HCC be employed by a partner LGA or other organisation?

The HCC may be employed by a partnering LGA, however the basis for that appointment should be justified in the application. The HCC cannot be employed by a partner organisation.

Does the HCC have to be physically located within the LGA?

It is preferable to have the HCC located within the LGA to assist with policy development and enhancing the capacity of the LGA to support and promote healthy lifestyles within the community. However, the HCC does not have to be physically located within the LGA. Justification should be provided in the application as to why the HCC would be better located elsewhere and consideration should be given to who would be responsible for on-costs associated with phone, computer, printing and other accommodation costs.

Is there a recommended salary band for the HCC?

It is up to LGAs to determine the salary for the HCC role. LGAs may wish to consider staff attraction issues and the market of qualified personnel available when determining the salary band.

Does the HCC position have to be advertised?

LGAs can decide whether or not the HCC position needs to be advertised. Advertising is not a requirement.

Can the HCC role be done by an existing council employee already working in a similar field?

The role can be performed by an existing employee. However, it is recommended that the role is performed on a full-time basis, not by an existing employee responsible for functions in addition to implementing the Healthy Communities project.

Are all costs associated with employing the HCC, including on-costs (i.e., super, leave entitlements, travel, etc) covered by the grant?

LGAs may provide in-kind support to cover on-costs or the grant can be used to cover all staff related costs. The Applicant Guide encourages LGAs to consider all staff costs when developing the budget, including salaries, superannuation and on-costs.

Does the cost of the HCC attending the HCI Workshop need to be included in the Project budget?

A two day workshop will be held shortly after the execution of funding agreements to support Healthy Communities Coordinators in their roles. The workshop is likely to be held in Melbourne, Sydney or Canberra. The entire cost for the HCC to attend the HCI Workshop will be borne by the LGA and can be paid for with Grant funds if it is included in the budget.

Are HCC required to be employed internally within the LGA?

HCC are required to be internal employees of the LGA to assist with policy development and enhancing the capacity of the LGA to support healthy lifestyles within the community.

Can you employ multiple project officers?

Yes. However, this decision needs to be balanced carefully with allowing sufficient funds for the delivery of programs and activities for the target group.

Can the HCC role be shared?

Yes. The role can be split between two employees, but must be filled on a full-time basis.




How will the effectiveness of the Healthy Communities Initiative be measured in terms of reducing levels of overweight and obesity?

The Department has contracted KPMG to evaluate the outcomes of the Healthy Communities Initiative, including LGA Grants. The evaluation methodology takes into account the variance in geographical location, community demographics and activity between funded LGAs. KPMG will assist LGAs in developing individual evaluation plans, that will inform the broader Initiative evaluation, and undertaking monitoring and evaluation activities.

Do LGAs need to establish arrangements with a university or consultant to assist in our evaluation?

No. There is no requirement to establish arrangements with a university or evaluation consultant to assist in evaluating the outcomes of an LGA Grants project. LGAs will be expected to monitor and evaluate their project and will receive support from the Initiative’s Evaluator (KPMG) to do so. KPMG will provide assistance to LGAs in undertaking monitoring and evaluation activities. LGAs should be prepared to work with KPMG to finalise and implement evaluation plans.

What level of detail on monitoring and evaluation is required for application?

The Applicant Guide outlines the expectations for describing how the project will be monitored and evaluated. The word limit of 1,500 provides an indication of the level of detail required. Detail should include how the project’s primary aims and objectives and short, medium and long term goals will be assessed. A copy of the Healthy Communities Evaluation Guide is provided at Attachment D to the Program Guidelines to assist.


What level of funding is to be allocated for evaluation?

The level of funding allocated to evaluation will vary according to the type of evaluation planned and whether an LGA intends to establish relationships with a university or consultant to assist with the evaluation.

Is it compulsory to collect physical measurements from all participants to be eligible for a Healthy Communities LGA Grant or contribute towards the evaluation?

No. The collection of physical measurements is not compulsory, nor is it an eligibility requirement for an LGA Grant. Collection of physical measurements from all participants may discourage people from participating. However, the voluntary collection of physical measurements from project participants will help inform the evaluation of both the LGA Grant and broader Initiative. Should successful LGAs wish to collect this level of data it should be noted in the evaluation plan developed following the establishment of funding agreement and in consultation with the Initiative Evaluator, KPMG.

What sort of support can be expected from the Initiative Evaluator?

KPMG has been contracted to evaluate the outcomes of the Healthy Communities Initiative, including LGA Grants. KPMG will assist successful grant recipients in developing evaluation plans that will inform the broader Initiative evaluation, and support LGA capacity to conduct monitoring and evaluation activities.

Does my LGA need ethics approval to conduct an evaluation?

The Evaluation Guide (refer Attachment D to the Program Guidelines) covers concepts such as anonymity, confidentiality, informed consent and data management. It also provides a list of useful resources including the Australasian Evaluation Society’s Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Evaluations. Activities undertaken for the evaluation of the LGA Grants, which are consistent with material set out in the Evaluation Guide, should be regarded as activities for the purpose of evaluating a government program, not research. These activities do not require the consideration of additional ethics committees, unless LGA engaged evaluators wish to investigate issues beyond the scope of the program evaluation.


National Program Grants


What is the difference between the National Program Grants and the LGA Grants?

Both the National Program Grants and LGA Grants are funded under the Healthy Communities Initiative. Only local governments can apply for the LGA Grants and only not-for-profit organisations were able to apply for the National Program Grants. The LGA Grants will provide funding to local governments to initiate activities aimed at increasing participation in healthy lifestyle programs and activities. The National Program Grants are designed to support the LGA Grants recipients by making established programs available to the LGAs, should the LGAs wish to utilise them. A summary of funded National Programs and contact details for each program is at Attachment C to the Program Guidelines.

Will my LGA be required to use National Program Grants?

The National Programs help to ensure that proven and sustainable programs aimed at improving adults’ physical activity levels, healthy eating behaviours and/or weight are available to the majority of communities receiving the LGA Grants that wish to use them. LGAs are encouraged to consider using multiple National Programs.

What if my LGA does not want to use National Program Grants?

LGAs are required to demonstrate that they have considered how the National Programs could be integrated into their project activities. If LGAs choose not to utilise National Programs, the reason must be explained as required in the Application Form.

In what circumstances would it be appropriate not to use National Programs and how would this impact on applications?

Examples of circumstances in which LGAs may choose not to use some of the National Programs include

· where a very similar program is already established in the community;

· where a National Program is not appropriate for the specific needs of the target group (note that most National Programs can be modified to suit different target groups); and/or

· where a National Program requires specific equipment or qualified personnel that are not available in the community (note that National Programs will train community members with relevant qualifications to deliver their programs and most can modify the program delivery depending on the equipment available).

LGAs may also identify other reasons why it would not be appropriate to use some National Programs. If an LGA chooses not to use one or more of the National Programs, the reasons must be explained as required in the Application Form.

How relevant are the National Programs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members?

There is capacity for the National Programs to tailor their programs to local community needs, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. LGAs are welcome to contact National Programs to discuss possibilities and contact details are in Attachment C to the Program Guidelines.

Can information provided by National Program Grant recipients be used in the application?

Generic National Program descriptions are available at Attachment C to the Program Guidelines. It is not recommended that this information be copied and pasted directly into applications. LGAs should consider how best to integrate a National Program into their project and articulate in their own words how the program will contribute to objectives.


Quality Framework


What is the Healthy Communities Quality Framework and Registration Body?

A Quality Framework has been developed to ensure that healthy lifestyle programs and providers utilised under the Healthy Communities Initiative are of an appropriate standard and quality, delivered by appropriately skilled persons, risk managed (to avoid adverse events), monitored and accountable for results. The Quality Framework outlines a set of quality standards, against which programs and service providers will be assessed by a Registration Body. Registered programs and providers will be listed on a web-based information portal, which the public and health professionals can search to identify what is available in their local community. For more information about the Quality Framework, see the Quality Framework section [insert link] on the Healthy Active website.

Can my LGA only utilise registered programs or providers or is registration voluntary?

The Australian Government will appoint a Registration Body in early 2011 to manage the Quality Framework, registration process and information portal. Until the Registration Body has been established, and for the first six months after its establishment, LGAs do not have to use registered programs and providers. However, programs and providers will be required to take reasonable steps to apply for registration within six months of the Registration Body being established if LGAs wish to utilise them after that point.

The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that Healthy Communities funding is spent on programs and providers that can demonstrate they are of an appropriate standard and quality. The registration process is designed to be supportive and aims to build the capacity of the sector to provide quality services. If any programs or providers do not meet the standards, the Registration Body will assist them to identify where they can make changes that will result in registration. LGAs should seek a commitment from the programs and providers specified in their application that they are prepared to apply for registration within the specified timeframe.

Note that the six National Programs are required to apply for registration and will be the first programs to do so. The individuals in your LGA who will deliver the National Programs will not need to be registered as providers as they are considered to be the licensed workforce of the specific National Program. National Programs are required to work with LGAs to identify suitable individuals to deliver their programs.

How should LGAs refer to the Quality Framework in applications?

As per the Applicant Guide, LGAs should ensure the programs and providers that they intend to use are aware that they will need to register within six months of the Registration Body being established. LGAs should demonstrate in their application that they have discussed registration expectations with potential programs and providers.

Do service providers need to register with the Quality Framework prior to the commencement of funding?

Service providers will be required to apply for registration within six months of the Registration Body being established. No steps need to be taken towards registration until funding agreements have been executed with successful LGAs.

What is the purpose of the LGA Principles within the Quality Framework?

The LGA Principles included in the Quality Framework are for information only and will not be assessed by the Registration Body. However, LGAs are encouraged to incorporate the principles into their planning and approach.


Lodging Applications and Further Assistance


Is there an application form?

Yes, there is an application form template that must be used in submitting an application. In order to access the documentation, please visit the Department’s tenders and grants page at www.health.gov.au/tenders. Once you have clicked on the link to Healthy Communities Local Government Areas Grants Phase 2 (ITA 168/1011) you will need to register via the Applicant Register in order to download the Program Guidelines and the application form.

Does my application need to be physically received by 2pm on 18 February 2011 or will it suffice to have it post-marked prior to this time and on this date?

Your application must be physically received in the Tender Box by 2.00pm AEDST on 18 February 2011. The box is emptied at 2.00pm precisely and any application that is placed in the Tender Box after 2.00pm will be ineligible for assessment. The Department is very strict on this guideline and is unable to accept any submissions after 2.00pm on the day. Please ensure you plan in advance for the time needed to deliver your application to ensure it arrives before the deadline.

It will not suffice to have it post-marked because all applications must be hand delivered to the Tender Box. The Tender Box is a physical box on the premises of the Department of Health and Ageing, not a postal address. You must either hand-deliver it in person or use a courier. Departmental staff cannot deposit your application in the tender box for you.

What times can I access the Tender Box?

The Tender Box is accessible Monday to Friday between 8:00am and 5.30pm (Canberra local time).

How big is the Tender Box?

The Tender Box has a pull-down opening that is approximately 35cm wide x 11cm high. If you have any problems depositing your tender in the box, call the number that is listed on the wall above the Tender Box for assistance.

Do I send the electronic copy of the Application with my application or do I email it?

The electronic copy must be included with your application on a CD ROM. You must not email it. You only need to provide one electronic copy.

Does the electronic copy of the application form have to be in Microsoft Word?

The electronic version of your application form must be Microsoft Word 2003 compatible. Any attachments must be either Microsoft Office 2003 compatible or readable using Adobe PDF.

Is there a nominated courier that LGAs are required to use to submit their application?

No, there is no nominated courier.

How will I know if the Department received my application?

All LGAs submitting an application will receive an acknowledgement letter within two weeks.

When will we hear if our application has been successful?

LGAs will be notified of the outcome of their application in writing in April 2011.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you require further information you may email the Healthy Communities Team at COAGHealthyCommunities@health.gov.au or phone the Healthy Communities Information Line on (02) 6289 4831.


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