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aboriginalvictoria.vic.gov.au

First Mortgage and Community Infrastructure Program

The First Mortgage and Community Infrastructure Program aims to strengthen the economic capacity and sustainability of Aboriginal organisations to move towards self-determination.

Not-for-profit groups
Open, closing in 69 days

Aboriginal organisations who own property where the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs holds a first mortgage, can apply to have the first mortgage removed.

This staged Program will ensure Aboriginal organisations have full control of their assets and have the autonomy to grow and plan for the future. It will enable more Aboriginal organisations to meet social determinants such as education, health and housing. It will also improve the ability of Aboriginal organisations to respond to the ongoing and changing demands in social, economic, and cultural environments.

Program timeline

  1. Open date

    28 October

  2. Closing date

    30 June

Guidelines

  • When the Program opened, there were 59 properties owned by Aboriginal organisations, where the Minister held a first mortgage. While organisations are the legal owners of these properties, the first mortgage doesn't allow them to utilise the capital to build a better future.

    For too long the Government has been the decision maker on issues impacting the Aboriginal community. This Program is about handing back control to Aboriginal organisations, so they can build enterprises, generate jobs, and plan for the future.

    The Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy commits the Victorian Government to remove first mortgages, subject to completion of due diligence.

    Removal of the first mortgages will strengthen opportunities for Aboriginal organisations to realise the full value of their properties. This is consistent with the Government’s commitment to self-determination.

    Successful projects will enable more Aboriginal organisations to:

    • be the decision maker on issues affecting their organisation and community
    • have greater control and choices regarding the use of their assets
    • leverage economic development opportunities from their assets
    • contribute to the social, cultural and economic development of Aboriginal communities

    The program is funded by a $21.7 million investment from government.

    The investment also funds the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program, which supports Aboriginal organisations to undertake a range of projects, including new community facilities and spaces designed to promote culture, heritage and health and wellbeing.

  • Eligible organisations are those Victorian Aboriginal organisations that currently own a property/properties over which the Minister holds a first mortgage.

    Applicants must also:

    • be an incorporated body, cooperative or association (including business associations)
    • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or provide written advice from the Australian Tax Office that no withholding tax is required from the grant payment
    • be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
    • be financially solvent (organisations in liquidation and/or administration are not eligible to apply for funding in this program)

    To be eligible for this Program, applicants must provide evidence of compliance with all items on the Urgent Repairs and Maintenance Readiness Checklist (section 6.1), First Mortgage Initiative Readiness Checklist (section 6.2), and Removal of First Mortgage Readiness Checklist (section 6.3).

  • Eligible organisations can apply for grants within the following 3 categories:

    Category 1: Urgent repairs and maintenance (up to $50,000 per property)

    To complete urgent repairs and maintenance on a property where the Minister holds a first mortgage. Eligible organisations can submit an application for Category 1, for each property with a first mortgage.

    Category 2: First mortgage initiative (up to $50,000 per organisation)

    To develop a study/sustainable business model on the organisation and its assets where the Minister holds a first mortgage. Eligible organisations can submit only one application for the Category 2 feasibility study.

    Category 3: Removal of First Mortgage

    Eligible Aboriginal organisations can apply for the removal of the first mortgage held by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs over a property owned by the organisation. Organisations can go straight to this category if strong governance, sustainability and feasibility can be demonstrated.

    There is no funding available in this category.

    Organisations can:

    • apply under each category at the same time
    • submit a Category 1 application that includes all its properties
    • apply directly for Category 3, without applying for Categories 1 and 2, if strong governance, sustainability and feasibility can be demonstrated
  • Category 1: Urgent Repairs and Maintenance Grants 

    Please note that organisations don't need to complete a separate Urgent Repairs and Maintenance applications for each property.

    Before submitting an online application, you'll need to prepare the following documents to include in your application:

    • project plan 
    • project budget 
    • at least one quote
    • project site photos
    • any additional documents such as letters of support from partners or supporting organisations

    Apply for Urgent Repairs and Maintenance

    Category 2: First Mortgage Initiative Grants

    An organisation may apply directly for the First Mortgage Initiative without having received funding for Urgent Repairs and Maintenance.

    Before submitting an online application, you'll need to prepare the following documents to include in your application:

    • project plan
    • project budget
    • at least one quote
    • any additional documents such as letters of support from partners or supporting organisations 

    Apply for First Mortgage Initiative

    Category 3: Removal of First Mortgage

    Organisations can apply directly for Removal of First Mortgage even if they haven't received funding for a feasibility study, if they can:

    • provide evidence of strong governance
    • organisational sustainability
    • feasible business model for the property or properties in line with the principle of self-determination

    Before submitting an online application, you'll need to prepare the following documents to include in your application:

    • Written response that describes how the removal of the first mortgage will increase the organisations’ capability and create social, cultural and economic opportunities for the Aboriginal community.
    • Photos of the property/properties.
    • A copy of the feasibility study or alternative evidence of organisational sustainability and a feasible business model for the property or properties in line with the principle of self- determination.
    • Audited financial reports from the past 5 years.
    • Annual General Meeting reports from the past 5 years
    • Current membership numbers.
    • A copy of the Rules/Constitution.
    • A copy of an active Conflict of Interest Register with all personal information redacted.
    • Declaration of compliance with regulatory body (e.g. Consumer Affairs Victoria, Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Australian Securities and Investment Commission).
    • A copy of the organisation’s current business plans or strategies.
    • Organisational structure.
    • Details of board members and key decision makers in the organisation.
    • Please ensure the relevant individuals consent to the use and disclosure of this information for the purpose of making a Removal of First Mortgage application to Aboriginal Victoria.
    • Any additional documents.

    Apply for Removal of First Mortgage

  • Information provided by DPC in Program applications will be used to assist DPC to assess eligibility and suitability for the program and to prepare funding agreements and the first mortgage removal documentation. Any personal information that is provided will be handled in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and other applicable laws.

    DPC, its officers, employees, agents and sub-contractors may use and disclose any of the information provided with the application to Victorian Government departments or agencies, Victorian Government bodies, non-government organisations and/or the Commonwealth, states or territories for any purpose in connection with the administration of the Program. Successful applications may also be the subject of media releases and disclosure as otherwise provided in the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of the Funding Agreement.

    You may access a copy of DPC’s Privacy Policy in relation to the management of personal information collected by contacting 1300 366 356.

    Authorised and published by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.

Reviewed 28 October 2020

Contact us

Grants Information Line