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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Specific Advice for ABA Grants

The following is specific advice related to ABA Grant applications. 

Visit the ABA Grant Application page for key information. 

Business Proposals

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claims as to the benefit of the business for Indigenous people in the NT.
  • Strong claims regarding the need for business for Indigenous people in the NT and demonstration as to why ABA grant funding is needed, including explanation as to why the provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding. It is also beneficial to explain why lending or leasing is not being sought.
  • Demonstrated capacity for delivering the business. Note if the request is over $250,000 a business plan will be required to demonstrate capacity.
  • The viability of the business must independently verified by IBA.
  • Applicants cannot refer to previous assessments or engagements with IBA or other business advisory services. Allow at least 10 working days, call ABA on 1800 354 612 if you have issues with the timeframe.
  • All agriculture proposals should consult with the ILC. Note a viability check by IBA will also be required. Allow at least 10 working days, call ABA on 1800 354 612 if you have issues with the timeframe.
  • If the business uses a premises or needs to access land (e.g. tourism) then a statement as to why land tenure or access rights will not inhibit the project will need to be made.
  • Formal quotes – less than 12 months old for assets.
  • The funding will not result in an anti-competitive situation.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • The applicant has engaged with IBA or a similar source of business support to develop their application. To find out more call ABA on 1800 354 612.
  • The applicant demonstrates commitment to the business by making a financial co-contribution. In-kind support is also beneficial but should not be presented as a substitute for a financial co-contribution.
  • No funding is requested for non-Indigenous employment or non-Indigenous consultancy. If these costs are essential, the preference is for these costs to be covered by the financial co-contribution.
  • Many businesses portray the benefit of their project as being increased Indigenous employment.
  • Private entities including sole traders and partnerships should use the section on capacity to explain what will happen to assets if the business fails and how the benefit to Aboriginal people will remain.
  • If the applicant wishes to purchase a business then the valuation (price) must be transparent and contestable.
  • The applicant is aware that grants funding can have tax implications for businesses.

Construction and infrastructure

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claims as to the benefit of the project for Indigenous people in the NT. 
  • Strong claims regarding the need for project for Indigenous people in the NT and demonstration as to why ABA grant funding is needed, including explanation as to why:
    • The provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding.
    • Grant funding is being sought over leasing or lending.
  • Demonstrated capacity for delivering the project. Note if the request is over $250,000 a business applicants will be required to provide a business plan and non-business applicants a project management plan.
  • If the applicant is a business then viability of the business must be independently verified by IBA.
  • Applicants cannot refer to previous assessments or engagements with IBA or other business advisory services. Allow at least 10 working days, call ABA on 1800 354 612 if you have issues with the timeframe.
  • Fixed price quotes from licence trades or cost estimates from an independent cost estimator are provided and are less than 12 months old.
  • The funding will not result in an anti-competitive situation.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • Business applicants demonstrate a commitment by making a financial co-contribution. In-kind support is also beneficial but should be presented as a substitute.
  • No funding is requested for non-Indigenous employment or non-Indigenous consultancy. If these costs are essential, the preference is for these costs to be covered by the financial co-contribution and in-kind support.
  • Land tenure is resolved to the point that it will not affect the delivery of the project, this may require engagement with an NT land council or the Office of Township Leasing.
  • Construction in remote communities addresses the risk of obtaining permission to connect or reconnect from the utilities provider.
  • Construction outside of the NT building control area acknowledges that construction will undertaken as if it was within the NT building control area.
  • Projects will deliver a construction outcomes rather than concept plans or for-construction drawings.
  • Indigenous procurement is preferential. If non-Indigenous procurement is proposed, it is advisable to explain why.
  • Contingency funds for cost overruns are not a preference. Should the applicant be approved, cost overruns are to be managed through presenting a case to the delegate and variation to funding agreement.
  • Applications may wish to enhance their application by developing an Indigenous Employment Plan.
  • The applicant acknowledges that the funding may carry the condition of a purposes deed.
  • Not attributing the applications non-project overheads to the project or charging an administration fee- these are best provided to the project as an in-kind contribution.
  • Applicants that are planning to deliver the project to or with a group of NT Indigenous people need to demonstrate acceptance through letters of support.
  • Business applicants are aware that grants funding can have tax implications.

Funerals and ceremonies assistance

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • That funerals and ceremonies support is delivered through NT Land Councils through a process that is separate to ABA Beneficial Grants.

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claims as to the benefit of the acquisition for Indigenous people in the NT. Note the benefit of the acquisition cannot be appreciating property value (an investment).
  • Strong claim regarding the need for acquisition for Indigenous people in the NT and demonstration as to why ABA grant funding is needed, including explanation as to why:
    • The provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding.
    • Grant funding is being sort over leasing or lending.
  • Demonstrated capacity for delivering the business. Note if the request is over $250,000 a business applicant will be required to provide a business plan and service providers a project management plan.
  • If the applicant is a business then viability of the business must independently verified by IBA.
  • Applicants cannot refer to previous assessments or engagements with IBA or other business advisory services. Allow at least 10 working days, call ABA on 1800 354 612 if you have issues with the timeframe.
  • All land and property acquisition must consult with the ILC. Allow at least 10 working days, call ABA on 1800 354 612 if you have issues with the timeframe.
  • A robust and contestable valuation of the sale price must be presented.
  • The funding will not result in an anti-competitive situation.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • Business applicants demonstrate a commitment by making a financial co-contribution. In-kind support is also beneficial but should not be presented as a substitute.
  • Service providers transparently disclose if they receive grants funding for renting or leasing a premises and how the acquisition will affect their funding.
  • Private entities including sole traders and partnerships should use the section on capacity to explain what will happen to land or property if the business fails and how the benefit to Aboriginal people will remain.
  • The applicant acknowledges that the funding may carry the condition of a purposes deed.
  • Business applicants are aware that grants funding can have tax implications.

Projects that support service provision (including pilots)

It is important to note that ABA only funds projects and not programs. Projects have a start and end date. Some applications are for pilots, which are a trial project that tests for a program.

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claims as to the benefit of the project for Indigenous people in the NT.
  • Strong claims regarding the need for project for Indigenous people in the NT and demonstration as to why ABA grant funding is needed, including explanation as to why the provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding.
  • Demonstrated capacity for delivering the project. Note if the request is over $250,000 a project management plan will be required to demonstrate capacity.
  • If the project uses a premises or needs to access land then a statement as to why land tenure or access rights will not inhibited the project will need to be made.
  • Quotes – less than 12 months old.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • For pilots – in the event of a successful pilot the proposal should outline how the pilot will migrate to a program and which alternative source of funding will support it. Letters of support from the alternate funding source will be beneficial. 
  • No funding is requested for non-Indigenous employment or non-Indigenous consultancy. If these costs are essential, the preference is for these costs to be covered by the financial co-contribution and in-kind support.
  • Not attributing the applications non-project overheads to the project or charging an administration fee- these are best provided to the project as an in-kind contribution.
  • Identifying any interstate or international travel in the budget. These will be considered by the delegate.
  • Applicants that are planning to deliver the project to or with a group of NT Indigenous people need should demonstrate acceptance through letters of support.

Purchase of vehicles and equipment

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claims as to the benefit of the vehicle and/or equipment for Indigenous people in the NT. This may need the context of the benefit of project or programme that the vehicle or equipment will support being outlined.
  • Strong claims regarding the need for vehicle and/or equipment for Indigenous people in the NT and demonstration as to why ABA grant funding is needed:
    • For businesses this will include explanation as to why the provision of funding is sought over leasing or lending.
    • For service providers this will include explanation as to why the provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding, including using program funds to lease a vehicle or equipment.
  • Demonstrated capacity for procuring, managing and replacing the vehicle or equipment. Note if the funding request is over $250,000 then:
    • For service providers: A vehicle or equipment management plan can substitute the need for a project management plan. This plan will outline use, management, maintenance as well as how replacement will be addressed.
    • For businesses: If the funding request is over $250,000 and the vehicle or equipment is for a business then a business plan is required.
  • For businesses: The viability of the business must be independently verified by IBA. Applicants cannot refer to previous assessments or engagements with IBA or other business advisory services. Allow at least 10 working days, call ABA on 1800 354 612 if you have issues with the timeframe.
  • Quotes – less than 12 months old, note quotes must be formal and should include delivery costs.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • Applicants under $250,000 can enhance their application by submitting a vehicle or equipment management plan that outlines use, management, maintenance as well as replacement.
  • Acknowledge acceptance that the vehicle and/or equipment maybe covered by the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) or through a purposes deed.
  • Local procurement of vehicles and equipment including preference for Indigenous suppliers
  • Transparency of the use of the funds from disposing of any current vehicles and/or equipment.

Rangers

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Rangers ongoing and capital costs are covered by the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) as a result they are not eligible for ABA funding.

Research

It is important to note that the preference to fund projects that produce tangible outcomes.

Stores, museums, arts and cultural centres

Stores, museums, arts and cultural centres have the ability to generate revenue and are generally regarded as businesses.

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claim as to the benefit of the project for Indigenous people in the NT.
  • Strong claim regarding the need for business for Indigenous people in the NT and demonstration as to why ABA grant funding is needed, including explanation as to why the provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding, leasing or lending.
  • Demonstrated capacity for delivering the project. Note if the request is over $250,000 a business plan will be required to demonstrate capacity.
  • The viability of the business must independently verified by IBA. Applicants cannot refer to previous assessments or engagements with IBA or other business advisory services. Allow at least 10 working days, call ABA on 1800 354 612 if you have issues with the timeframe.
  • If the business uses a premises or needs to access land (e.g. collecting art materials) then a statement as to why land tenure or access rights will not inhibited the project will need to be made.
  • Quotes – less than 12 months old.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • All new (start-up) applicants engaged with IBA or a similar source of business support to develop their application. To find out more call ABA on 1800 354 612.
  • The grants funding will expand the applicants benefit to Aboriginal people in the NT and it will not substitute the applicants’ responsibility for maintaining assets and setting aside funds for replacing equipment.
  • The applicant demonstrates commitment to the business by making a financial co-contribution. An in-kind commitment is also beneficial but should not be presented as a substitute.
  • No funding is requested for non-Indigenous employment or non-Indigenous consultancy. If these costs are essential, the preference is for these costs to be covered by the financial co-contribution and in-kind support.
  • Many businesses portray the benefit of their project as being increased Indigenous employment. Business applications may wish to enhance their application by developing an Indigenous Employment Plan.
  • The applicant is aware that grants funding can have tax implications for businesses.
  • Applicants that are planning to deliver the project to or with a group of NT Aboriginal people need should demonstrate acceptance through letters of support.