Applications closed

Application for this program closed 18 Feburary 2022


Part of the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, the Investment Fast-Track Fund will focus on funding activities that will 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.

Previously referred to as the Accelerating Readiness Fund, the Investment Fast-Track Fund provides Victorian Government financial assistance for activities that will fast-track achievement of an evidence base for their project in order to support and confirm investment readiness.

Funded activities will be considered on the basis of the resultant project’s strategic importance for rural and regional communities including driving economic growth and prosperity for Victoria.

Objectives of the fund

The objectives of the fund are to fund activities that will:

  • ensure that high quality prospective projects that will be effective at driving regional recovery and economic diversification, are supported to a position of investment readiness and implementation
  • support acceleration and development of business cases and planning for projects of strategic importance to develop a robust pipeline of investment-ready opportunities over the medium term
  • progress development work on medium-longer term transformational projects that will fundamentally underpin long-term recovery and resilience
  • support Aboriginal businesses to establish, grow and meet Aboriginal Victorians’ needs, priorities, and aspirations.

Who can apply?

Applications will be considered for activities from the following (Individuals are not eligible to apply under this program):

  • Local Government Authorities
  • Alpine Resorts Management Boards
  • Private sector businesses, including Aboriginal organisations and small businesses
  • 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:
    • Cooperatives or associations
    • Social enterprise organisations
  • Utility and services providers
  • Water corporations
  • TAFE institutions and universities
  • Public/private partnerships, through an incorporated entity
  • Not-for-profit organisations operating businesses, including community groups that are an incorporated body, cooperative,
    association or social enterprise
  • Other organisations agreed by Regional Development Victoria.

Councils can also sponsor (auspice) activities on behalf of the business and industry groups, and incorporated not-for-profit
organisations including:

  • Chambers of commerce and business associations
  • Industry peak bodies
  • Business and industry clusters and networks
    • Cooperatives or associations
    • Social enterprise organisations

and must:

  • Be an incorporated legal entity, with the exception of small businesses which may only require an Australian Business Number
  • Not-for-profit organisations and community groups that have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or can provide written advice
    from the Australian Tax Office that no withholding tax is required from the grant payment.

Note: that eligible Traditional Owner/Custodians groups and Aboriginal businesses are encouraged to apply.

Ineligible organisations

  • State and Commonwealth Government departments and agencies
  • Unincorporated organisations or join ventures (unless under an auspice arrangement, see above)
  • Trusts
  • Pre-school, primary and secondary schools
  • Individuals are not eligible to apply

Funding details

The  is a Contestable fund with applications received throughout the 2020-21 and 2021-22  financial years, or unless the funds are exhausted prior.

Funding ratios

The funding ratio for the Investment Fast-Track Fund contribution is capped at Regional Development Victoria $4 : $1 Other.

Funding available is capped at $500,000 per activity, however applications will be accepted for larger funding requests and will be considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account the level of strategic importance of the resultant project for rural and regional communities in driving economic growth and prosperity.

Applications that have high applicant contributions would be considered more favourably.

While joint investment with other Victorian Government program funding is encouraged, co-contributions from other sources to meet the required funding ratio must be derived from non-Victorian Government sources.

In determining the Regional Development Victoria funding level, the total Victorian Government contribution will be taken into consideration.

In-kind contributions

Small rural councils and alpine resorts are the only Local Government Authority entities that are eligible to claim in-kind contributions to the activity.

Community groups and social enterprises are also eligible to claim in-kind contributions.

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

Assessment of financial and other risks

Applications to the Investment Fast-Track Fund must include information to enable regional Development Victoria to assess financial and other non-financial risks associated with the proposal as part of its due diligence. This includes consideration of elements that may pose a reputational risk to the State, such as:

  • whether the applicant has already received grants from the Victorian Government
  • whether the applicant has failed to meet key contractual obligations for previous grant agreements with the State. Note: delays due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and responses may be taken into consideration at the Department’s discretion
  • where the proposal has already been fully funded by the applicant through other means (e.g. capital raising on the Australian Stock Exchange)
  • where due diligence (probity checks) uncovers adverse findings.