Operating Subsidy Toolkit

Step 1-4 This outlines how to apply for an operating subsidy and is relevant to everyone interested in seeking funding from the Town.
Step 5 This section outlines information that is specific to operating subsidies.
Step 6 This outlines information for successful applicants.
Step 7 This outlines definitions of terms used throughout this toolkit.

General information

Priority Funding Themes

This round the Town is focusing on Operating Subsidies able to deliver initiatives and services using a strengths based approach that address one of more of the following priority themes:


  • Youth development / services
  • Seniors / aged
  • Arts and Culture
  • Community Safety


  • Multicultural

Applicants are to consider one or more of the following elements as part of a development and delivery approach:

  • community engagement and social connection,
  • capacity building and skill development,
  • system identification, alignment and improvement, and
  • seeks out collaboration and partnering.

Application Open and Closing Dates

Applications open: 9am Monday 23 October 2023
Applications close: 5pm Friday 1 December 2023

Information session: 5.30pm - 7.00pm Thursday 9 November 2023

Submission details

Applications can be accessed via the Town’s website from the opening date.

To ensure your application is eligible:

  • Applications must be completed and submitted online or they will not be accepted.
  • All questions and sections appropriate to your application and category must be completed in order to submit your application.
  • Remember to attach all supporting documentation.
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • All applications must be received by 5pm on the date of closure, late applications will not be accepted. 


Grants Officer 
Telephone: (08) 9311 8111 
Email: admin@vicpark.wa.gov.au


Applying for funding

Who can apply for funding?

The operating subsidy program will financially support the operating capacity of eligible parties to deliver meaningful interventions, programs and services to the community , known here on as ‘initiatives’ which support the Town’s Strategic Community Plan vision, mission and values.  

Parties eligible for funding include:

  • Must be an established and solvent incorporated not-for-profit organisation or social enterprise.
  • The mission/purpose of the organisation or social-enterprise must be of a sporting or recreational, cultural or community service focus.
  • The mission/purpose will be stated in the organisation's constitution, details of incorporation or similar statement of purpose.
  • The applicant must operate within the Town from a rateable premise or primarily deliver services within the Town.
  • Operating subsidy request is based upon industry benchmarked standard costs of operation.
  • The impact of the operating subsidy upon competition and economic efficiency are minimised as far as practicable and evidenced by the applying party.

Applicants will be ineligible for an operating subsidy where the:

  • Applicant has an existing cash Operating Subsidy with the Town with an end date of June 2025.
  • Applicant has an outstanding debt to the Town.
  • Applicant has failed to submit a satisfactory acquittal for a previous Town grant.
  • Applicant is a Town employee or an Elected Member and their immediate family members.
  • In the past 12 months, the applicant has failed to complete a previously approved grant project within the agreed schedule, without prior negotiation.
  • The initiative is considered commercial in nature.
  • The initiative is based outside of the Town’s boundaries (advertising/marketing based initiatives are exempt from this restriction).
  • Eligibility criteria is not met.
  • Applicant does not operate within the Town from a rateable premise or primarily deliver services within the Town.
  • Applicant has previously breached a requirement of a lease or licence with the Town and failed to rectify the breach to the satisfaction of the Town.
  • Applicant is insolvent.

The Town reserves the right to deny any application which conflicts with the Town’s vision, mission or values, or which would bring the Town’s brand or reputation into disrepute, or at its discretion.

How much can I apply for?

Operating subsidies will be capped at $100,000 (ex GST and Consumer Price Index Perth all groups) cash contribution per organisation per year, and no more than 50% of total operating costs, inclusive of cash, in-kind support relating to subsided rental value of the lease forfeited under a peppercorn lease.

Example: applicant seeks $80,000 cash operating subsidy, while also receiving a $35,000 peppercorn lease benefit. Total expenditure is $160,000.

$160,000 + $35,000 peppercorn = $195,000

$195,000 x 50% of total contribution = $97,500 is maximum allowable cash operating subsidy. Applicant is seeking $80,000 which is beneath both $100,000 and 50% of total contribution cap.

Operating subsidies are funded by 1% of the Town’s rates income, therefore the final amount available will not be determined until the budget has been adopted by Council in June 2024.

To claim the status of being an incorporated group, the group must either:

  • be incorporated under the provisions of the Associations Incorporations Act (2015)
  • be a recognized not-for-profit, non-government corporate body either created by government or with an Australian Companies Number (CAN) or have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be a registered as company limited by guarantee
  • be a school, or
  • be an unincorporated group or individual operating under the auspice of an incorporated organisation.

In-kind support?

Use of Town assets

If the applicant is leasing or would like to lease a Town asset with a peppercorn lease(Show info), the value of the peppercorn lease must be included in this application.  The value of the peppercorn lease can be obtained from the Town’s property team.

Promotions and marketing

The Town’s communication channels are used for Town announcements, news and information, storytelling and experience sharing and can be a powerful tool for promoting events or community activities that are a result of an operating subsidy. The Town can help recipients communicate news and events for things that are:

  • free to attend
  • based in the Town
  • supported or sponsored by the Town
  • run by a strategic partner of the Town
  • of broad local community interest
  • are reflective of our strategic objectives, culture and values.

In addition to the above:

  • The Town’s supporting partner logo is available on request. All published material (printed or digital) that includes the Town logo requires approval and must comply with the Town’s brand style guide.
  • The Town will not create social media posts or event pages on behalf of the recipient, but is able to share published content and interact with third party posts. If this service is desired the applicant is required to let the Town know when posts are planned, and will need to tag the Town in the post.
  • Facebook: the Town can share a Facebook post or event. The post or event listing should be fully populated with dates, images, pricing, and include a source for further information (i.e. website, email).
  • Twitter: the Town can retweet and interact with relevant information regarding news and events. Any content the Town interacts with should include a website/link for additional information.
  • Instagram: the Town can interact with posts regarding the event or activity, and add stories that tag the Town.
  • LinkedIn: if it is deemed appropriate for the platform (i.e. industry relevant, professional networking and advocacy) the Town can share and interact with posts.
  • E-newsletters: the corporate e-newsletters follows a monthly publishing schedule. Content can be submitted to the Town’s communications team and must include images (high quality, landscape), a website or email to link to more information and a short paragraph of copy. The Town will determine if it is possible to publish the content based on timing, relevance, and availability of space.
  • Website: the Town can share information about events or activities but must be provided with all content, information, and a website or email to link to further information. The Town may also be able to include relevant events on the Town’s events calendar.
    The recipient is responsible for generating any promotion or marketing for events or activities they may be hosting.

Staff time and resources

The Town employs people with a range of expertise who may be able to support you in the delivery of your initiative. A requirement of the application will include a meeting with relevant Town staff to discuss the planning and delivery of your initiative. 


The Community Development events team may be able to offer the following support in the planning and development of an event: 

  • The events team can guide and assist the applicant to learn the elements of planning and delivering an event.
  • Guidance on budgeting for logistical elements of your event e.g. road closures, hire of equipment.
  • Provision of templates including:
    • event planning checklist
    • event manual
    • risk assessment
    • accessibility checklist
    • run sheet. 

The events team require a minimum of three months’ lead time before the event to properly assist you. Applicants must commit to meeting timelines and milestones for event planning.

Australian Business Numbers (ABN) and taxation requirements

An ABN refers to an Australian Business Number issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If your organisation has an ABN it must be recorded within your application. All applications will require an ABN to be provided. 

The holder of the ABN is either:

  • registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • not registered for the GST.
  • If your organisation is successful and registered for GST, you are required to provide the Town with a tax invoice with your signed agreement before payment will be made.  The tax invoice must show the full amount of funds allocated plus an additional 10% for GST. 

If your organisation is successful and not registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST), you are required to provide Council with your signed agreement only. Council will pay the grant amount allocated. For example, $2,000 (no GST).

What to do if you don’t have an ABN: 

If your organisation does not have an ABN you are requested to complete a Statement by a supplier form and lodge it together with your application. You can obtain a copy from the ATO website. 

Please note if you do not have an ABN and do not supply this form Council is required to take 46.5 per cent of the grant allocated and send this to the ATO.

Completing an application

For the Town to properly consider all applications a range of information is required from the applicant. The following lists the information required. 

1. General budget information

A budget template is provided in the application form. Applicants may use their own existing budget template, but ensure that the requested information is included. 

When preparing the budget breakdown, applicants must list all expenditure items exclusive of GST. Where applicable, identify which items of expenditure will be funded by which funding sources. The items you identify in the section must be listed in order of priority.

2. Salaries and administration budget information

Budgets for salaries and administration items must be on current costs (excluding GST), and in accordance with relevant industrial awards or agreements, where they exist. Budgets for salaries and administrative expenditure should be itemised. 


The Town aims to maximise participation of local businesses in the supply of goods, services and works that are procured with ratepayers’ funds. Procurement from local businesses must be balanced against value for money outcomes, and where all other factors are considered equal, preference will be provided to businesses that have a measurable presence within the Town. 

4. Revenue

All income arising from the conduct of the initiative must be identified and applied, unless otherwise agreed to by the Town.

5. Assets

Funding will not generally be provided to purchase capital works or assets, however the purchase of equipment relevant for use in the initiative may be allowed. Any proposal to purchase equipment must be stated in the application and will be subject to Town approval.

6. Outcome measurement

As part of the application process you will need to provide an overview of the anticipated outputs and outcomes you are hoping to achieve. 

Outputs – relate to the ‘number’ of things. For example the number of people who attend or participated in an initiative; or the number of workshops you hosted, number of events you delivered, materials printed, and marketing reach. 

Outcomes – relate to the short, medium or long term outcomes of the program or initiative. For example a short term outcome may be that people felt socially included and connected to their local community by attending an event, or that participants gain knowledge and skills on a specific topic that resulted in behaviour change. 

It is important to link the anticipated outcomes back to the Town’s Strategic Community Plan outcome areas to demonstrate how your initiative aligns to this. 

If you are successful in obtaining an operating subsidy you will be required to demonstrate the actual outputs and outcomes delivered. Six-monthly and annual reporting will be required and will be detailed in the agreement. 

It is important to think about how you will keep track of the outputs and measure the outcomes of your initiative. For outcome measurements you may want to use surveys and include questions that align to the Town’s Strategic Community Plan outcome areas. The Town can support you to identify indicators, targets and measurement methods. 

7. Other approvals

If you are delivering an event or initiative in the public realm, you may require various Town approvals such as an event approval from the Town’s Environmental Health team. The approval of an operating subsidy does not negate the need to seek other approvals.


How will the application be assessed?

Assessment process

Depending on the number and quality of applications received, you may receive all or part funding for your initiative. There is also the possibility that your initiative will not receive funding. 

An assessment panel of no less than three members will assess and determine applications which are presented to Council for consideration and endorsement. 

Applications will only be assessed if:

  • it has been fully completed and received by the Town in accordance with requirements
  • the applicant has supplied quotes for all purchases in accordance with the type of funding sought
  • the applicant’s mission, objectives, and products do not conflict with the values and objectives of the Town
  • the applicant is not requesting explicit endorsement of the applicant itself, or its product
  • applicants demonstrate a financial or in-kind contribution
  • any conflict of interest has been declared and assessed as reasonable
  • the application meets all funding eligibility requirements (i.e. acquittal of previous grant).

The Town reserves the right to discuss an application with a third party, if necessary, to assist in assessing the application. 

Notification outcomes

Successful applications will be advised in writing within 60 days of the submission. If your proposal is successful you will receive a letter of agreement via email. The letter of agreement will set out the terms on which Council is prepared to make the funding available. 

The level of funding awarded may differ from the amount requested and will depend upon the extent to which the funded initiative can contribute to the advancement of the Town’s Strategic Community Plan. 

To accept the offer you are required to complete, sign and return the letter of agreement to the Council, accepting the terms and conditions, together with your tax invoice and assigned purchase order number (contained in the letter of agreement). 


Unsuccessful applications will be advised in writing within 60 days of the submission. Rationale for the declined grant application will be provided. 


Application checklist 

Is your application ready to submit?

Use this checklist as a guide for what is required to complete your online application. 

Required information

Completed application form (online)*
Project plan including who is involved, what tasks are being undertaken. Budget, when the tasks are to be completed*
Risk management plan*
The applicant’s latest annual report (if applicable)*
A current certificate of incorporation (if applicable)*
The most recent audited financial statement*
The organisation’s ABN and if no ABN, applicants are to complete a Statement by a supplier form from the Town or ATO website*
Copies of insurance (i.e. public liability insurance)*
Quotes for goods and/or services*

Additional information

Evidence to support for your application
Details about previous grants or subsidies received from the Town
Details about other funding partners

Ready to submit?

If you have ticked yes to all applicable yes boxes then you are ready to submit your application online here.



Assessment Criteria

The objectives of an operating subsidy align with the Town’s Strategic Community Plan. An operating subsidy should be strengths based, promoting sustainable, connected, safe, and diverse places for everyone and achieve the following strategic outcomes:

  • S1 Helping people feel safe.
  • S2 Collaborating to ensure everyone has a place to call home.
  • S3 Facilitating an inclusive community that celebrates diversity.
  • S4 Improving access to arts, history, culture and education. 

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria. Applications which provide detailed information and justification addressing the criteria will be considered more favourably by the assessment panel. 

Grant Assessment Criteria Weighting
Demonstrated evidence-based need  25%
Alignment to the Town's Strategic Community Plan 25%
Value for Money - individual or community outcomes will be relative/proportionate to funding amount requested 25%
Governance - demonstrated eligibility, skills, experience and capacity of the applicant 25%
Total 100%

Successful application information

Awards presentation

All successful applicants (or an appropriate representative) are encouraged to attend the Towns annual community grants awards presentation evening. You will be notified of the time and date of the awards presentation.

Payments of funds

Payments will generally be an annual payment paid by direct debit after signing the letter of agreement. An invoice will need to be provided to the Town for payment with a purchase order number supplied by the Town for each year the funding has been allocated. Invoices are to be provided to the Town by 30 July each financial year until the end of the contract. 

Acquittal report requirements

Funds must be acquitted within 30 business days of each financial year. This involves providing financial records of how the funding was spent and the outputs of the initiative.

Any unexpended funds must be returned to the Council. The Town may take action to recover funds from an applicant if the funds are not acquitted appropriately. Applicants with outstanding acquittals are not eligible for further Town funding.

Debrief and success measurement

The Town will meet quarterly with successful applicants to discuss the progress of the initiative / service. This meeting will be utilised as an opportunity for all parties to learn from their successes and areas for improvement. Successful applications will also be required to report every 6 months.


As part of the accountability process Council reserves the right to audit any and all community grant recipients for compliance with funding conditions and expenditure of monies received.

Termination of agreement

An operating subsidy agreement may be terminated if in the opinion of the Chief Executive Officer:

  • the project is not carried out with competence and diligence
  • the project is not being carried out in accordance with the terms and conditions of the agreement
  • the recipient fails to provide information concerning operational, administrative or financial aspects of the project in response to a reasonable request from the Town.

The Town may require repayment of any funding if the funding is not used for approved purpose in accordance with the agreement.



Term Definition
Broad community Programs or services which are inclusive of the entire community and are not exclusively targeted at a specific community cohort.
Cost-benefit comparison Social benefits and outcomes achieved at an individual and community level being greater than the totality of funding and support provided by the Town. The funding recipient will be required to attribute a cost against the operational service delivery cost required to achieve the social benefits and outcomes.  

Comparison of two similar programs or services taking into consideration cost and resourcing against the benefits and outcomes anticipated to be achieved or achieved.  A cost-effectiveness analysis helps to determine which ‘applicant’ should receive funding/ resources based upon:

  1. The greatest potential impact at an individual and community level informed through a cost-benefit ratio.
  2. Should sufficient funds be available Council may elect to approve two or more similar operating subsides.
Economic efficiency

When goods and services that are produced are the ones that are most valued by society, produced at least cost and allocated to those who value them most highly. Economic efficiency comprises;

  1. allocative efficiency- allocating resources to their most productive use
  2. technical efficiency- providing goods and services at least cost
  3. dynamic efficiency- ensuring that investments are optimal over the long-term (three year maximum contracts) in both their timing and location.
Established and solvent
  1. operating a business for all or part of the income year
  2. cash reserve and/or guaranteed income to cover three months worth of operating costs at any time
  3. has an aggregated turnover less than $10 million annually
  4. has demonstrated capacity to deliver upon funding agreements.
Funding agreement A contract entered into by the Town and funding recipient which stipulates obligations inclusive of, deliverables, reporting requirements, roles and responsibilities, termination of funding and funding period.
Incorporated association An association, as defined by the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 (WA), inclusive of any association, society, club, institution, community group or body formed or carried on for a lawful purpose. All profits made by the association must be used to benefit the association or, in the case of a charity, the beneficiaries of that charity, and not for the gain of its individual members.
In-kind support Goods or services provided to eligible parties by the Town.  Such as fee waiver for the use of the Town’s facilities and services, inclusive of parks, reserves or equipment; or support inclusive of but not limited to cross-promotion through social media platforms and production of marketing material. In-kind support will be attributed a monetary value and considered within the totality of funds provided by the Town to the eligible party.
Operating subsidy A cash payment and/or peppercorn lease made to an eligible party to support its sustainable operating capacity to deliver programs, support and services to the local community, capped at 50% of total operating costs.
Peppercorn lease A subsidised nominal rental amount which is significantly below the market valuation. Thus, forfeiting revenue in return for social benefits for the community (to be informed by cost-benefit ratio).
Social enterprise

Also referred to as business) means:

  1. a small business that is led by an economic, social, cultural or environmental mission consistent with a public or community benefit
  2. derive a substantial portion of their income from trade
  3. reinvest the majority of their profits/ surplus in the fulfilment of their mission.
Specific community cohort A targeted group of the community. An example of a specific community cohort would be seniors aged 55+, or people with a disability, or people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Strength based approach Engaging and mobilising a community’s strengths via its people, their skills, experience, self-determination and capabilities and available physical assets and resources to make a positive difference in the local community.


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