Regional Development VictoriaRegional Development Victoria

State Government of Victoria


Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund (RJIF)?

The Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund (RJIF) is the Victorian Government’s $500 million overarching regional development package. It will invest in growing jobs, building infrastructure and strengthening communities in regional Victoria.

As a dedicated regional development fund, RJIF addresses key challenges and opportunities to unlock regional Victoria’s growth potential.

The economic success of regional Victoria is critical to the longer-term success of the state. Regional Victoria makes an important contribution to Victoria’s economy and liveability and accounts for around one third of the state’s exports. It also has a wide range of economic assets and natural resources. Regional Victoria is home to a quarter of the state’s population. With Victoria’s population set to rise from 5.7 million to 10 million by 2051, regions are well-positioned to accommodate and capitalise on this growth.

The Government welcomes grant proposals from businesses, industry groups, regional and rural local government authorities, government agencies, not-for-profits and community groups from 1 July 2015. This includes from businesses in high-growth sectors such as: medical technology and pharmaceuticals; new energy technology; food and fibre; transport, defence and construction technology; international education and professional services.

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What public grant programs are available under the RJIF?

RJIF includes three programs:

The $250 million Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF) will invest in major infrastructure projects that create or enhance the conditions for economic growth and build resilient, diversified and environmentally sustainable regional economies.

The $200 million Regional Jobs Fund (RJF) will help companies grow their workforce, innovate, expand their markets and create the jobs of the future. The RJF will attract investment, with a focus on regional competitive advantage or high growth potential businesses and assist to diversify the regional employment base. The RJF includes the $20 million Food Source Victoria initiative which has its own targeted grants program aimed at growing agrifood exports.

The $50 million Stronger Regional Communities Plan (SRCP) will improve the liveability of Victoria’s rural and regional towns to help retain and attract population and build community capacity.

From 1 July 2015 there are ten program streams under these programs open for grant applications as outlined below.

There are four program streams under the RIF:

  • Visitor Economy - This program stream aims to stimulate increased visitation and harness the strength of regional Victoria’s tourism and cultural assets;
  • Productive and Liveable Cities and Centres - This program stream aims to enhance the conditions for growth and stimulate new investment opportunities in regional cities and towns;
  • Enabling Infrastructure - This program stream supports regional industries to innovate, build resilience and improve adaptability to changing economic and environmental conditions;
  • Rural Development - This program stream will support economic and community infrastructure that creates opportunities for economic growth and enhances liveability in rural areas. To ensure that the Rural Development program is available to support projects in a breadth of small towns and communities in the 38 rural local government areas, grants for infrastructure are capped at $500,000 and grants for project and strategic planning are capped at $50,000.

There are four program streams under the RJF:

  • Investment Attraction - This program stream aims to attract and facilitate investment and growth in new and existing businesses in regional Victoria;
  • Innovation and Productivity - This program stream aims to improve the productivity and competitiveness of regional industries to ensure the long-term sustainability of businesses and jobs;
  • Employment Precincts - This program stream aims to boost the capacity of new and existing regionally significant employment precincts such as CBDs, health, education, innovation, industrial and special purpose precincts;
  • Market Access - This program stream aims to grow regional export potential and access to new markets for business and industry groups.

There are two program streams under the SRCP that support small grants of up to $50,000:

  • Community capacity building - This program stream aims to develop and strengthen local people’s capacity to make a difference in their communities
  • Population attraction - This program stream aims to attract groups such as professionals and skilled labour, businesses, families and young people to regional Victoria.

There will be other initiatives announced over the term of the RJIF. Contact your local RDV office for further information or check the RDV website.

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Who can apply for grants under RJIF programs?

Generally, RJIF programs are open to a broad range of rural and regional businesses, industry groups, government agencies, not-for-profits and community groups. Individuals are not eligible to apply for RJIF funding.

There are some minor differences in eligibility criteria in the three RJIF programs. You should read the application guidelines and information sheets to determine your project’s eligibility. Most importantly, talk with your local RDV office about your proposal at an early stage.

Notably, under the RIF Regional Development program stream, only projects in the 38 rural local government areas are eligible for funding.

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What is considered regional and rural Victoria?

Rural and regional Victoria is defined as the 48 local government areas, including six alpine resort areas, set out in Schedule 2 of the Regional Development Victoria Act 2002.

The 10 regional city local government areas are Ballarat, Greater Bendigo, Greater Geelong, Greater Shepparton, Horsham, Latrobe, Mildura, Wangaratta, Warrnambool and Wodonga.

The remaining 38 local government areas, including six alpine resort areas, are referred to as the rural local government areas.

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How do I apply for a grant under a RJIF program?

Application guidelines and information sheets are available on the RDV website or from your RDV office.

You are encouraged to contact your local RDV office at an early stage and discuss the nature of your proposal and whether RJIF programs might be applicable.  RDV can provide advice on your proposal, its eligibility, application requirements and potential funding opportunities. Your local RDV office can refer you to program specialists if required.  Furthermore, RDV may refer you to other relevant or related government assistance or grant programs.

Your local RDV office can also provide advice on the assessment and approval process for your proposal including likely timeframes.

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Where is my nearest RDV office?

Contact details are available at www.rdv.vic.gov.au/about-us/contacts-and-assistance.
Note that proposals in metropolitan and interface local government areas are not eligible for RJIF funding.

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How much can I apply for under RJIF programs? What level of matching funding will be required?

RJIF programs generally do not have grant caps or matching funding requirements except for the RIF Rural Development program stream and the two program streams under the SRCP.

In general, RJIF seeks to maximise sustained economic benefits from any public contribution and leverage other funding sources.  Applications with higher levels of co-contribution will be favoured.

The RIF Rural Development program stream is aimed at economic and community infrastructure in rural local government areas.  Recognising the capacity and breadth of rural projects, the RIF Rural Development program has been designed to provide grants for infrastructure up to $500,000 and grants for project and strategic planning up to $50,000 with matching funding thresholds of:

  • $3 of RIF funding to $1 of applicant funding for infrastructure up to $300,000;
  • $2 of RIF funding to $1 of applicant funding for infrastructure over $300,000 and under $500,000;
  • $2 of RIF funding to $1 of applicant funding for project and strategic planning.

To help ensure that SRCP funding is available to support projects in a breadth of communities and locations across regional Victoria, grants are capped at $50,000.

The RJIF comprises three programs and ten public grant program streams that contain a range of initiatives. Some initiatives such as Food Source Victoria have their own targeted public grants programs with specific objectives, funding caps and co-contribution requirements.

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Will there be other state government grant programs for regional development?

Yes. In addition to the RJIF with its focus on regional infrastructure projects, employment and stronger communities, the Victorian Government is developing a range of other economic development initiatives.  These include:

  • The $508 million Premiers Jobs and Investment Fund will support strategic investment to drive economic growth and create high-skill, high-wage jobs in Victoria
  • The $200 million Future Industries Fund will support the Victorian economy’s transition by investing in priority sectors including:
    • medical technology and pharmaceuticals
    • new energy technology
    • food and fibre
    • transport, defence and construction technology
    • international education
    • professional services.

Your local RDV contact can provide information on other assistance and grant programs available to support regional businesses. Information is also available here.

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Can I apply for local, state and Commonwealth grants for the same project?

Yes. Under the RJIF collaboration with other parties that leverages contributions from other sources is encouraged.

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Can organisations who have applied and/or received funding under previous regional development grant programs apply for the new funding?

Yes. The Government welcomes proposals which have merit.  They will be considered against the fund’s criteria through the usual application process.

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Who will administer the RJIF?

RDV will administer the RJIF. RDV is the lead agency that delivers the Victorian Government’s agenda to drive jobs and more prosperous communities in regional Victoria. It is a statutory body within the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

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Where can I find more information on RJIF programs?

Application guidelines and information sheets for RJIF programs and its program streams are available the  Programs and Grants page.

We highly recommend you talk through your project proposal with your local RDV office.

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Last Updated: 15 April 2016