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Investment Fast-Track Fund

The Investment Fast Track Fund supports the planning and preparation of regional and rural development project proposals to strengthen the project’s investment evidence base and accelerate investment readiness.

Overview

A woman iides a bike while chatting with a friend who jogs beside her. They are travelling along a gravel road in a lush and colourful countryside location

The Investment Fast-Track Fund (IFF) focusses on funding activities that mobilise strategic investment projects through fast-track of business case development and planning for medium to longer term projects in regions, and increase the pipeline of investment ready projects, with a focus on leveraging private investment, boosting employment and improving the liveability of rural and regional Victoria.

IFF is part of the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund (RJIF), the Victorian Government’s flagship regional development fund central to driving growth and recovery in rural and regional Victoria. RJIF has been allocated $30 million in 2022-23 to leverage private sector investment, grow and diversify our regional economy, and improve economic and social outcomes to make regional Victoria an even better place to live, work and invest.

RJIF supports regional communities in their immediate response and recovery efforts, seeks to address complex local challenges and enable opportunities for future growth. The impact of COVID-19 has seen increased numbers of people living and working in rural and regional Victoria. The Victorian Government recognises the ongoing opportunities to support our growing regions with the infrastructure communities need to thrive and attract a skilled workforce.

Objectives of Program

The objective of the Investment Fast-Track Fund program is to accelerate and expand investment in projects of importance for rural and regional communities. This will boost employment, improve liveability, and drive economic growth and prosperity.

The anticipated outcomes are:

  • improvement in business case, risk assessment and project planning
  • improved investment pipeline of growth projects
  • increased private sector investment in priority areas.
  • an evidence-base to identify strategic opportunities in each region
  • reduced funding risks for future strategic implementation projects.

Activities funded through the Investment Fast-Track Fund enable growth projects that support the implementation of the Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS) and the longer-term transformational outcomes of:

  • an enhanced visitor economy (e.g., cultural, food, natural assets)
  • improved infrastructure for growth sectors (e.g., health, energy, education)
  • increased liveability to support population growth and/or retention
  • more resilience to pandemics, economic transition, and natural disasters.

Funded activity should align with the relevant Regional Economic Development Strategy.


Funding Details

The Investment Fast-Track Fund is being delivered as a contestable fund, where projects are assessed and then scored against a merit criterion to identify the most suitable projects.

Funding available is capped at $500,000 excluding GST per project, with the funding capped at a ratio of $4 to $1 of program funding against the cash contribution from the applicant.

Project funding and co-contributions

To receive funding, a cash co-contribution from applicants of 25 per cent of the requested grant amount is required.

The broader project may have funding from other Victorian Government programs but the co-contribution amount to meet the required funding ratio must be derived from non-Victorian Government sources.

In-kind contributions

Applicant entities eligible to claim in-kind contributions are:

  • small Rural Councils
  • Alpine Resorts
  • community groups
  • social enterprises.

The in-kind contribution will be capped at 25 per cent of the applicant’s contribution.

Who can apply

Applicants must have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Applications will be considered from the following legal entities:

  • Local Government Authorities
  • Alpine Resorts Management Boards
  • private sector businesses
  • Aboriginal organisations
  • business and industry groups including:
    • chambers of commerce and business associations
    • industry peak bodies
    • business and industry clusters and networks
  • incorporated not-for-profit organisations, including community groups that are a:
    • cooperative or association
    • social enterprise organisation
  • utility and services providers and water corporations
  • TAFE institutions and universities
  • public/private partnerships, through an incorporated entity
  • other organisations agreed by Regional Development Victoria at its discretion.

What will be funded

The IFF funds planning and development activity that fast tracks projects of strategic importance for rural and regional areas. To be funded, the project proposal — supported by the pre-implementation activity — must align with the objectives and outcomes of the IFF under RJIF.

IFF funded activity: The pre-implementation activity required to support the development of the proposed project and/or to attract project investment.

Project proposal: The regional development project that the funded activity will support and assist in fast tracking its development.

Funded activities should support project proposals that are enabling and transformative infrastructure projects:

  • that are strategic and align with the relevant Regional Economic Development Strategy and RJIF objectives, and where appropriate other current and relevant government (local, state or federal) economic plans and strategies
  • that respond to and address opportunities and challenges relevant to an identified region or place
  • make a clear case for the impact of the project and its identified economic and community benefits at the local and regional level, or for the State or local industry
  • with initial project planning and that show some indication of demand for the project, and that the proposal is sustainable over the longer-term (including supporting evidence and data)
  • that show evidence of appropriate consultation and initial stakeholder support, whether that be community, local government, or industry
  • that have a clear timeline for project development.

Refer to the table lower down the page for a list of previously funded projects.

Eligible activities

Planning and development activities that may include:

  • statutory and environmental planning processes and approvals
  • business cases
  • feasibility studies or master plans to investigate the technical and/or economic viability of a project, with the ability to progress to a business case within a 6-month period. (Note: these projects can be staged, for example feasibility studies that achieve their desired threshold to proceed can move directly into a business case)
  • economic development and industry investment strategies that will support longer term regional development and investment opportunities
  • structural cultural assessments
  • heritage assessments criteria
  • geotechnical investigations
  • design activities, at a minimum delivering to schematic/pre-construction level
  • early works packages to help de-risk a project (e.g., service relocations) adjustment strategies for regionally significant industry sectors.

Application eligibility

Projects delivered within the following locations can apply for funding, in accordance with relevant program eligibility criteria.

Regional cities

  • Ballarat
  • Greater Bendigo
  • Greater Geelong
  • Greater Shepparton
  • Horsham
  • Latrobe
  • Mildura
  • Wangaratta
  • Warrnambool
  • Wodonga

Large Rural Councils

  • Bass Coast
  • Baw Baw
  • Campaspe
  • Colac-Otway
  • Corangamite
  • East Gippsland
  • Glenelg
  • Golden Plains
  • Macedon Ranges
  • Mitchell
  • Moira
  • Moorabool
  • Mount Alexander
  • Moyne
  • South Gippsland
  • Southern Grampians
  • Surf Coast
  • Swan Hill
  • Wellington

Small Rural Councils and Alpine Resorts

  • Alpine
  • Ararat
  • Benalla
  • Buloke
  • Central Goldfields
  • Gannawarra
  • Hepburn
  • Hindmarsh
  • Indigo
  • Loddon
  • Mansfield
  • Murrindindi
  • Northern Grampians
  • Pyrenees
  • Queenscliffe
  • Strathbogie
  • Towong
  • West Wimmera
  • Yarriambiack
  • Mt Baw Baw
  • Falls Creek
  • Mt Hotham
  • Mt Buller
  • Mt Stirling
  • Lake Mountain

Application Process

Applicants should familiarise themselves with the Program Guidelines to confirm eligibility. A list of frequently asked questions have also been developed to assist with your application.

Applications should clearly describe the activity and proposed project and address the assessment criteria in the Program Guidelines.

Eligible applications will be assessed against response to the assessment criteria as well as supporting documents.

Applications for 2022-23 funding are now open and will close at 11.59pm 17 August 2022.

Step 1

Read the Program Guidelines to establish eligibility and read the DJPR Grants Agreement for the funding

Step 2

Contact your local RDV office to discuss the proposed project and express interest in applying.

Step 3

The relevant RDV office will provide a link to the online application form.

Download Resources

Resource Download
Program Guidelines - Investment Fast-Track Fund 2022-23 (165.1 KB ) Download
Program Guidelines - Investment Fast-Track Fund 2022-23 - Accessible (92.0 KB ) Download

Projects funded by this program

Project Name Region Year Amount Funded
Murrindindi Council: Skyline Road Tourism Precinct Catalyst Project Mallee 2022 $500,000
Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board: Mt Hotham Business, Visitor and Community Centre Design Ovens Murray 2022 $480,000
Mansfield Council: Lakins Road Industrial Precinct Master Plan Ovens Murray 2022 $200,000
Towong Council: Lake Hume Master Plan Ovens Murray 2022 $120,000
Ballarat and Traralgon UniTown Delivery Project Central Highlands 2022 $500,000
Ararat Council: The Aradale Solution - Economic and Social Development Strategy Central Highlands 2022 $500,000
Buda Historic Home and Garden: Business Case and Design Project Loddon Campaspe 2022 CiC
Colac Otway Council: Colac - Deans Creek Growth Corridor Outline Development Plan Barwon 2022 $425,000
Greater Bendigo Council: Bendigo Art Gallery Planning Project Mallee 2022 $280,000
Health Futures Australia Ltd: Sustainable Healthy Integrated Food Towns Hepburn Business and Investment Plan 2022-2025 Central Highlands 2022 CiC
Indigo Council: Chiltern Destination Playground Ovens Murray 2022 $100,000
Murray River Paddlesteamers: Australian Star Project Planning Ovens Murray 2022 CiC
Warrnambool Council: Business Case for the Redevelopment of Warrnambool Art Gallery Great South Coast 2022 $112,500
The Peaks Eco Retreat Pty Ltd: Grampians Off Grid Eco Retreat Central Highlands 2022 CiC
Indigo Council: Indigo Caravan Park Master planning Ovens Murray 2022 $50,000
Mallee District Aboriginal Services - MDAS: Kerang Aboriginal H&WC - Planning Project Mallee 2022 CiC
Gannawarra Council: Koondrook to Kerang Rail Trail Mallee 2022 $500,000
Wodonga Institute of TAFE: Logical Innovations - Wodonga TAFE Ovens Murray 2022 $450,000
Mildura Council: Mildura CBD Revitalisation Mallee 2022 $200,000
Moorabool Council: Parwan Employment Precinct Power and Water Central Highlands 2022 $200,000
Indigo Council: Rutherglen Silo Precinct Project Ovens Murray 2022 $100,000
The Sovereign Hill Museums Association: Sovereign Hill Master Plan - Museum of Makers and Orientation Precinct Central Highlands 2022 CiC
Wellington Council: Wellington Renewable Energy Impact and Readiness Study Gippsland 2022 $150,000
Macedon Council: Woodend Community Centre Redevelopment – Concept, Schematic & Detailed Design Loddon Campaspe 2022 $260,000
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