Follow us on LinkedInFollow us on TwitterFollow us on FacebookFollow us on Instagram

Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Capacity building for native title corporations

Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) funding, called ‘PBC Capacity Building grant funding’, is available to assist native title holding corporations, known as Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs), to generate economic benefits through the effective and sustainable management of their land.

This funding is designed to build the capacity of PBCs, also known as Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate (RNTBCs).

It is ongoing since the 2015-16 financial year.

Recognising the essential role PBCs play in supporting native title holders to take advantage of opportunities arising from their native title rights, the Government has injected $21 million into the PBC Capacity Building grant funding program in the 2021-2022 Budget, on top of the ongoing funding of $6.5 million a year.

This means the program now has $47 million allocated over the next four financial years (2021-22 to 2024-25) to support PBCs to undertake capacity building.

In addition, the Government has allocated a further $7 million to PBC Capacity Building projects to help PBCs amend their rule books to ensure they align with the recent changes to native title laws.

You can find out more about these changes through the factsheets on NIAA’s website:

The factsheets show what rulebook changes are required. PBCs, or organisations which support them, can apply for PBC Capacity Building grant funding to help them to make these changes. 

How to apply

The Agency is inviting eligible applicants to apply for PBC Capacity Building grant funding under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

This grant is open to all PBCs and to third parties working with the PBC sector across Australia. Applications will be considered throughout the year – there is no closing date.

Applications must be completed online and will be accepted from individual PBCs, groups of PBCs, or third parties (such as native title representative bodies and service providers, law firms, and interest groups). These third parties can apply to receive and administer funding on behalf of PBCs. 

Applicants must meet other eligibility criteria outlined in the IAS Grant Guidelines and undergo financial viability checks and a risk assessment.

The funding has three elements:

  • Direct support to increase the capacity of PBCs to take advantage of economic opportunities;
  • Support for training to build long-term organisational capacity within PBCs, such as projects to amend a PBCs rulebook and governance structure, receive training or obtain professional expertise (for example, business consultancies, accountancy or legal services); and
  • Direct support for effective native title agreement-making.

It is anticipated that most grants will be between $50,000-$750,000, depending on the scope of the grant activity and its complexity. There is no maximum grant amount but grants cannot exceed the amount of available funds. The Agency may award grants as one-off payments, or on a single year or multi-year basis at its discretion.

Funding will not be provided for:

  • Applications that do not clearly address at least one of the IAS programme streams.
  • Activities that are more appropriately funded by other government agencies (including state/territory and local government).
  • Retrospective items or activities.
  • Costs reasonably covered by proponent parties (e.g. applying for funding to support agreement making between parties such as land use agreements with jurisdictional governments. Costs would covered by the relevant government authority).

For further information about applying for grant funding, contact your local Regional Office on 1800 079 098 or search on the Regional Office website.

PBC Basic Support Funding

PBCs are able to receive funding, called ‘Basic Support funding’, to help PBCs to meet their corporate and operational obligations. On average, around $50,000 per PBC is provided in Basic Support Funding.

Not all PBCs receive or need Basic Support Funding, but all PBCs are eligible to apply for Basic Support funding.

In order to support more PBCs receive Basic Support funding, and to provide support to the new PBCs that are established each year, the Government has announced an additional $8.6 million in Basic Support Funding.

PBC Basic Support Funding is only available to PBCs through their Native Title Representative Body or Service Provider. If your  PBC doesn’t receive Basic Support Funding and wants to, you should contact your Native Title Representative Body or Service Provider.

You can find out your PBCs’ Native Title Representative Body or Service Provider on the NIAA website here:

PBC Capacity Building frequently asked questions

When does the funding round close?

There is no closing date for applications and the NIAA will consider applications throughout the year.

Who can apply for funding?

  • Any PBC can apply for funding.
  • Several PBCs can apply for funding as a group.
  • Other parties, such as native title representative bodies and service providers, law firms and interest groups can apply to receive and administer funding on behalf of, and with the authorisation of, a PBC or group of PBCs.

How much funding is available?

A total of $47 million is available over the next four financial years (2021-22 to 2024-25) for general PBC Capacity Building projects. An additional $7.1 million is available over the next three financial years (2021-22 to 2023-24) for projects to support PBCs to amend their rulebooks to align with the  Native Title Legislation Amendment Act 2021.

What types of activities does the funding cover?

There are three elements to the funding: 

  • Direct support to increase the capacity of PBCs to take advantage of economic opportunities;
  • Support to build long-term organisational capacity within PBCs, such as projects to amend a PBCs rulebook and governance structure, receive training or obtain professional expertise (for example, business consultancies, accountancy or legal services); and
  • Direct support for effective native title agreement-making.

A more detailed list of activities is in the application kit.

What cannot be funded?

Funding will not be provided for:

  • Applications that do not clearly address at least one of the IAS program streams.
  • Activities that are more appropriately funded by other Government agencies (including State/Territory and local Government) under their priorities.
  • Retrospective items or activities.
  • Costs reasonably covered by proponent parties.

How will the funding be provided?

The NIAA may award grants as one-off payments, or on a single year or multi-year basis at its discretion.

My corporation has been set up to become a PBC at some point in the future. Is it eligible for the funding?  

No. Funding is only available for corporations that are already PBCs.   

What if my PBC already gets basic support funding through a native title representative body or service provider?

PBCs will be asked to indicate any other sources of government funding in their application, including PBC ‘Basic Support funding’ provided and administered through a Native Title Representative Body or Service Provider. Other funding will be taken into account to ensure the same things are not funded twice. 

Can I submit an application in hard copy?

Applications should be completed online. If you cannot access the online application smart form you should contact your local NIAA Regional Office on 1800 079 098.

Can NIAA’s Regional Office staff help me prepare my application?

Staff in NIAA’s Regional Offices are available to answer any queries you have on the application or funding process. Staff cannot help write the application or provide direct advice regarding your application. See Indigenous.gov.au or Appendix B of the IAS Guidelines.

Who should I contact if I need more information?

All enquiries should be directed to the NIAA Regional Office on 1800 079 098.

Latest News

There are currently no news items for this topic.

Visit our News Centre for other updates.

Resources

There are currently no resources for this topic.

Visit our Resource Centre to view related resources.