Regional Development VictoriaRegional Development Victoria

State Government of Victoria


Hazelwood Supply Chain Transition Program - Application Guidelines

1. Background

The Hazelwood Supply Chain Transition Program (HSCTP) is a fund of up to $5 million that will provide intensive tailored support to businesses in the Hazelwood supply chain to guide them through the transition period as Hazelwood power station and mine closes.

The HSCTP is focused on retaining industry capability and jobs in the Latrobe Valley that might otherwise be lost due to the Hazelwood closure.

The HSCTP is part of the Victorian Government’s $40 million Latrobe Valley Economic Development Program (LVEDP) which targets the needs of the region and intensifies government’s efforts to support its economic diversification, growth and resilience.

2. Program Objectives

The HSCTP will provide Latrobe Valley based Hazelwood supply chain companies with the support they need to plan for their future, including access to new sectors and markets.

This will be achieved by:

  • Providing intensive support to equip supply chain companies with options and strategies for transition
  • Offering assistance to implement key recommendations identified in the plan.
Total support provided for any Hazelwood energy supply chain company will be capped at $71,000.
All projects must be completed by 30 June 2019.

3. Assistance Available

3.1 Stages

The Hazelwood Supply Chain Transition Program offers two separate stages of assistance.

3.1.1 Business Transition Plan

Independent Business Specialists will provide intensive support to participating companies, including the completion of a business diagnostic to help identify future opportunities and assistance required. The diagnostic outcomes will then form the basis of a Business Transition Plan, which will be developed by the Business Specialist and the participant. The Business Transition Plan will identify target sectors and markets for diversification as well as the strategies and capabilities the company needs to pursue in order to transition.

Where a supply chain company has an established transition plan that was developed independently of the HSCTP after November 2016, a Business Specialist may be engaged to undertake a review of the existing plan. The review will determine if appropriate strategies are in place to assist the supply chain company through the transition period, and make recommendations for change where appropriate. A supply chain company may be eligible for assistance to develop a revised Business Transition Plan if necessary.

3.1.2 Business Transition Services and Merger Advisory Services

Business Transition Services

At the completion of the Business Transition Plan stage, participating supply chain companies may be eligible to receive assistance towards business transition activities identified in their plan.

The nature of support will depend on the outcomes identified in the Business Transition Plan.

Where common needs are identified across a number of program participants, group delivery of specialist services may be appropriate and cost effective.

Business Transition Services may be delivered by one or more Business Specialists.

Merger Advisory Services

Where a business merger has been identified in the Business Transition Plan as the appropriate course of action, support for Merger Advisory Services may be provided to maximise retention of industry capability and jobs.

Merger Advisory Services are designed to provide advice on the strategies required for a business merger.

Merger advisory services must be delivered by one Business Specialist.

Additional assistance

Assistance from a representative of Regional Development Victoria (RDV) will be incorporated into all program streams, providing the supply chain company with information on existing State and Federal industry support programs.

4. Eligibility

4.1 Hazelwood Energy Supply Chain Companies

Supply chain companies must meet all the following criteria to be eligible for assistance under the Hazelwood Supply Chain Transition Program:

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Be incorporated in Victoria
  • Have been trading continuously for the past four years
  • Be a Victorian based business, with at least 20 per cent of revenue* derived from the Hazelwood Energy and Mine and their supply chain
       (* Applicants must provide a statement from their accountant that confirms their revenue sources)
  • Be based in Latrobe Valley (Latrobe, Wellington, Baw Baw)

The following are not eligible to be an HSCTP participant:

  • Individuals, partnerships, or trusts, however an incorporated trustee can apply on behalf of a trust provided that the State is satisfied that the incorporated trustee will remain sufficiently liable for the performance or any agreement it signs
  • Commonwealth, State and Local Government agencies and bodies
  • Publicly funded research institutions
  • Not-for-profit organisations
  • Community-based organisations.

4.2 Business Specialists

To be considered to become a Hazelwood Supply Chain Transition Program Business Specialist, applicants must:

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Be registered for GST
  • Be a Victorian-based business with a high level understanding of the energy industry, and the Latrobe Valley energy supply chain in particular
  • Demonstrate experience providing strategic analysis (including diagnostics) and planning for businesses in Victoria
  • Be financially viable

5. Funding

5.1 Value of Support and Supply Chain Company Co-Contribution

HSCTP Activity Support Provided
Review of an established Business Transition Plan $5,000
Development of a Business Transition Plan $16,000
Business Transition Services Up to $55,000
Merger Advisory Services Up to $10,000

The level of support for Business Transition and Merger Advisory Services will depend on the outcomes and recommendations in the Business Transition Plan, as well as the scope of work and associated costings included in the application.

Total support provided for any Hazelwood supply chain company will be capped at $71,000.

Supply chain companies will be required to meet any additional costs where the total project cost exceeds the value of support provided by Regional Development Victoria (RDV).

For example, if the total project cost for Merger Advisory Services is $15,000, RDV will provide support of $10,000, with supply chain companies required to contribute $5,000 to the project.

RDV reserves the right to determine the value of the support, which may be less than the amount requested by the applicant.

Funds from other Victorian or Commonwealth Government programs cannot form part of the co-contribution.

5.2 Eligible Project Activities

Activities funded under Business Transition Services include (but is not limited to):  

  • new product development
  • business matching
  • assistance with management skills
  • sales and marketing strategies
  • financial management
  • market access activities.

Activities funded under Merger Advisory Services include (but is not limited to):

  • business valuations
  • asset valuations and registers
  • due diligence
  • leasehold premise obligations.

5.3 Ineligible Project Activities

The following will not be funded under the HSCTP:

  • capital expenditure
  • legal expenses (unless specified above)
  • worker entitlements
  • sales agreement negotiations or any other activity required to formalise a business merger
  • Business Transition Services that duplicate existing government initiatives
  • Business Transition Services where the applicant has not applied for, and completed, an HSCTP Business Transition Plan. Exemptions may be made where the applicant has an established transition plan that was developed independently of the HSCTP after November 2016.

Assistance of any kind will not be provided to applicants who commence their project prior to receiving a Letter of Offer from RDV and will be liable for the full project costs incurred should their application not be successful.

5.4 Duration of Projects

Business Transition Plan projects must be completed within two (2) months of the date of the offer of funding.

Business Transition Services and Merger Advisory Services must be completed within twenty four (24) months of the applicant accepting the offer of funding.

The completion of projects within these timeframes will be legally binding commitments in the approval documentation.

All HSCTP projects must be completed by 30 June 2019.

6. Selection of Business Specialists

RDV will seek Expressions of Interest from suitably qualified Business Specialists to deliver transition projects. Applicants will be required to outline their experience providing strategic analysis (including diagnostics) and planning for businesses in Victoria, as well as their understanding of the energy supply chain and the Hazelwood energy supply chain in particular.

Business Specialists will also be required to highlight in their application other key areas of expertise, such as sales and marketing, financial management, mergers and/or product development. Should the specialist’s application be successful, these capabilities will be listed under the specialist’s entry on the program website.

Applications to deliver transition projects will be assessed by a panel, who will consider the submission on its merits. Successful applicants will be listed on the program website, and will include the primary contact details for supply chain businesses to discuss their needs.

Applications to select Business Specialists will open at launch of the program and will remain open for the duration of the program.

Potential applicants to deliver transition projects will need to consider the geographic location of the supply chain businesses and the likelihood of travel prior to making a submission.

Claimable travel costs for transition projects will be capped at 5 per cent of the funding offered by RDV.

7. Application Process for Supply Chain Companies

7.1 How to Apply

Applications will be sought via invitation from Latrobe Valley based primary and secondary Hazelwood supply chain companies already identified by RDV.

Companies who believe they meet the eligibility criteria, but did not receive an invitation to apply are encouraged to contact the Program Manager who will determine if an application should be submitted.

All applicants must declare they have spoken to their nominated Business Specialist about the Hazelwood Supply Chain Transition Program and are satisfied with the work proposed.

This will be confirmed with the relevant Business Specialist by RDV prior to the assessment of any application.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all requested information is supplied to RDV. Failure to do so may result in the application being unsuccessful.

Applicants whose applications are unsuccessful will be advised in writing.

7.2 Application Opening and Closing Dates

Applications for supply chain companies to enter the Hazelwood Supply Chain Transition Program will open on 3 November 2016 and will close on 30 June 2018, unless funds are fully expended prior to that date.

Applications submitted outside of these dates will not be considered.

8. Assessment of Applications and Approval Process

Business Transition Plan

To be considered for transition planning assistance, applicants must indicate which Business Specialist they wish to work with to develop their Business Transition Plan.

Feedback capturing an applicant’s confidence levels towards their long term sustainability will also be sought in the application, and will be compared against an evaluation survey that program participants must complete at the end of their transition plan project.

All applications will be considered by the HSCTP program team and a recommendation made for approval.

Applicants who are approved will be issued with a Letter of Offer, and a funding agreement will be sent to the Business Specialist for the benefit of the applicant.

Business Transition and Merger Advisory Services

Support for Business Transition and Merger Advisory Services can only be sought at the completion of Business Transition Plan projects.

Support will be provided to engage one or more approved Business Specialists to assist supply chain companies to implement the findings of their Business Transition Plan. Applications must include a quote from the Business Specialist/s outlining the scope of work to be delivered, pricing and relevant timelines.

Applications for Business Transition and Merger Advisory Services will be assessed by an independent panel of experts against the assessment criteria below, and a recommendation made for consideration by the Minister for Industry.

The HSCTP has been designed to be nimble and responsive to business needs ensuring supply chain companies can access assistance in a timely manner.

The Minister’s decision is final and there is no right of appeal. Feedback will be provided to unsuccessful applicants by RDV.

Shortlisted applicants may be contacted to provide additional supporting documentation and confirm the performance targets and milestones. These agreed performance targets and milestones will be documented prior to the application being submitted for further assessment and will form the basis of payment conditions in the funding agreement.

Applicants who are approved will be issued with a Letter of Offer, and a funding agreement will be sent to the Business Specialist for the benefit of the applicant.

9. Assessment Criteria from Business Transition and Merger Advisory Services

Applications for support for Business Transition and Merger Advisory Services will need to meet the following criteria:

Assessment Criteria

  1. Linkage to the recommendations of the Business Transition Plan
    • The activities/actions proposed are aligned with the recommendations in the Business Transition Plan.
    • The supply chain company will dedicate appropriate resources to effectively deliver the project
    • The supply chain company agrees and has the capacity to meet any additional project costs that exceed the funding offered by RDV.
  2. Commitment from the supply chain company to the intended project
    • The cost of activities proposed reflects market value and the level of funding requested.
  3. Value for money

10. Funding Agreements

10.1 Approval

Businesses should expect to learn the outcome of their application for Business Transition Plan support within approximately four (4) weeks, and for Business Transition and Merger Advisory Services within approximately eight (8) weeks of submission of the application.

The Minister for Industry and Employment is responsible for approval of funding for the projects.

10.2 Funding Agreements

Applicants who are approved will be issued with a Letter of Offer, and a funding agreement will be sent to the Business Specialist for the benefit of the applicant.

Applicants will have 30 calendar days from the date on the letter of offer to commence their project. The offer may be withdrawn if the project is not commenced within the 30 day timeframe.

At the completion of the project, the Business Specialist must provide the funding agreement to the supply chain company for endorsement. By signing the agreement, the supply chain company confirms they are satisfied with the quality of the work completed.

The Business Specialist must then countersign the funding agreement and return it to RDV, along with copies of any project documentation (such as the transition plan), and an invoice for processing.

10.3 Publicity

Recipients must agree to cooperate with RDV in the preparation of materials used to promote the benefits of the program, such as a media release or case study. RDV will seek approval for any text or imagery associated with the funding recipient prior to the publication of any such promotional materials.

11. Reporting and Evaluation

All recipients of HSCTP assistance must agree to:

  • comply with performance monitoring requirements, including written reports and face-to-face meetings
  • participate in formal program evaluations by RDV.

12. Confidentiality

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) will, to the extent permitted by law, treat all information as strictly confidential and commercial-in-confidence where relevant. Any personal information will be managed in accordance with the published Privacy Policy, which can be found at business.vic.gov.au/privacy.

13. Contacts and Further Information

More information on the program can be accessed through the Hazelwood Supply Chain Transition Program page.

Applicants requiring further information should contact RDV Gippsland

33 Breed Street Traralgon 3844
Tel: (+61 3) 5116 7300
Email: information.traralgon@rdv.vic.gov.au



    

Regional Matters Spotlight


Last Updated: 19 December 2016