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Grants review background

The Grants Review was a reform of the framework for grants provided to local governments by the state government.

The Grants to Local Government Policy Position (PDF, 252KB) was announced by the then Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe MP, Minister for Local Government, Minster for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs in September 2018. The policy position confirmed the government’s intention to develop a model for grant funding that is simple, adaptable and coordinated, and that provides value for the state while being responsive to community priorities.

Key outcomes:

  • implement an outcome focused grants model where grant programs with common objectives are managed consistently
  • align grant programs with State Government priorities and, Council strategies and budget cycles
  • reduce red tape through streamlining the administration, monitoring and reporting of grant programs
  • support Councils across all stages of the grant program process, including necessary long-term planning.

Supporting the policy position, proposed program streams (PDF, 286KB) have been developed showing how grant programs can be coordinated and simplified.

The review of grants to local governments and the development to the model focused on grants to local governments only and excluded changes to existing programs and related funding.

Implementation planning

In 2018-19, the department undertook implementation planning to determine the requirements to deliver on the policy position and develop the new Model. The department:

  • completed extensive research and analysis of other grants models
  • engaged with councils through Regional Organisation of Council meetings and other forums
  • engaged with local government industry representatives and state agencies
  • undertook a detailed survey of local governments and state agencies.


We’ve listened to our stakeholders to ensure we deliver a simpler, more customer-focused model.

Feedback received from 72 councils (out of 77) indicates:

  • support for grant programs with a longer-term
  • a move towards allocation-based funding for suitable grants
  • coordinating and grouping grants under six outcome focused program streams
  • the need to ensure funding is targeted to meeting local priorities.

A snapshot of the council engagement (PDF, 240KB) is now available.

Feedback received from 10 agencies indicated support for:

  • greater consultation with councils
  • consistent reporting criteria and use of online tools for reporting
  • greater cross-agency collaboration in development of grant programs and review of applications
  • less frequent reporting – quarterly or linked to milestone payments.

Council support and training

We are committed to providing ongoing training and support to councils in the areas of:

  • strategic asset planning and management
  • preparing and lodging grant applications
  • planning and preparing for funded projects
  • compliance with grant funding agreements

Last updated: 09 Nov 2021