The challenge of drafting the Application for a Sydney Council Demonstration Grant

The Council Grants program is structured through a detailed on-line sequence of a long list questions with written answers to be inserted into boxes. Some of these appear to be repetitive and some are confusing but we were motivated to do the best job possible because the possible ‘reward’ of $80K might well make the difference to the viability of our project.

Alex and Paul were away for an extended period so the first stage of our grant application effort fell to Luci and Neil before the latter then also went away for a month leaving Luci to wrestle with the funding aspects of our submission and all the supporting documentation. On the former, we needed to estimate possible sources of funding apart from the possible Council grant that would cover the significant balance of the project costs. We decided that our presentation of these costs would be drawn from the most complete, whole system tender we had received. Luci also sought and received an in principle supporting letter from a potential financing arm of the Clean Energy Financing Corporation. Other supporting documentation was provided by the Strata Executive and the local State government MP.

The Council Grants and Environment teams offered to meet with us prior to our submitting our application and Luci represented us at it. He was gratified to find that the two officers were well-informed about our project and indicated that we had passed our Feasibility Acquittal with flying colours. The officers were concerned to ensure that at this point our project promised to have a strong chance of success and were pleased to hear of our commitment to engage with other strata in the future. Luci left the meeting encouraged that we have mounted a good case for getting the full Demonstration Grant.

This whole process took very many hours at the computer and on the phone. We are lucky that those of us who are actively engaged in supporting this project all have the time to contribute because the time demands have been extreme.