Lord Mayor’s Better Suburbs Grants Guidelines - Community Facility Category

The Lord Mayor’s Better Suburbs Grants Community Facility Category provides funding to improve, develop and maintain Community Facilities.  

1. Objectives

The Community Facility Category aims to deliver outcomes in alignment with Brisbane Vision 2031, which plans for the future of the city.

There are two options for funding:  

  • Option 1 – Planning and design for a proposed Community Facility improvement or development project
  • Option 2 – The construction phase of a Community Facility improvement, development or maintenance project. 

Projects must deliver one or more of the following objectives:

  • improve the quality of a Community Facility
  • increase, maintain or enhance participation and community access to a Community Facility
  • improve the flexibility of a Community Facility so that it encourages the development of multi-use, sharing and co-location.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have the capacity to maintain the completed improvement works.  

2. Priorities

Council may set prioritised project types to respond to key community needs and issues identified by Council. If applied, these priorities will be determined before the new financial year and listed at the start of the application form and on Council’s website. Examples include sports field lighting, building maintenance, increased diversity of use or participation.

If your project does not fit with prioritised project types, it will still be considered and assessed. Please discuss your proposal with a Council officer before commencing your application.

3. Round dates

Grant round dates are outlined in the below table. Round closing dates and notification timeframes will also be documented in the application form.

This table provides information on the round dates including round number, round closing date, notification of outcome and project start date.
Round Opening DateRound Closing DateNotification of OutcomeProject Start Date
21 August 20239 October 2023Mid December 202318 December 2023

4. Eligible applications

Who can apply?

Applicants must:

  • be an incorporated not-for-profit organisation; or 
  • be auspiced by an incorporated not-for-profit organisation that accepts legal and financial responsibility for the project or activity (Auspice Organisation)
  • own the land and/or Community Facility or have the authority to undertake the proposed works on a Council Community Leased Facility
  • not have outstanding debts, overdue or un-acquitted grants with Council or outstanding issues with the Office of Fair Trading at the time of application
  • for Council Community Leased Facilities, ensure that Council’s annual lessee survey (Census) has been completed for the site subject to the application.

If an applicant states in their application that they are being auspiced by an Auspice Organisation, a letter from the Auspice Organisation must be provided, signed by the chair, president or chief executive officer (or equivalent) of the organisation, agreeing to auspice the proposal.

Organisations NOT eligible to apply include: 

  • organisations that are not authorised to undertake works on a Council Community Leased Facility 
  • national sport and recreation organisations
  • political organisations
  • State and Federal Government departments 
  • for-profit organisations
  • tertiary education institutions
  • non-incorporated organisations (unless auspiced by an Auspice Organisation)
  • church or religious groups, unless the proposed project or activity can be considered to be in addition to the group’s core business.

Preference will be given to applicants who have not yet received a Lord Mayor’s Better Suburbs Grant in either Category (Community Support or Community Facility), within the current financial year. This does not apply where the organisation is acting as an auspice.

Ineligible applications

Council reserves the right to determine what constitutes equipment and general operating costs that should be carried out by the organisation on a regular basis or are a compliance requirement. 

Examples of ineligible projects and items under these guidelines include:

  • electrical appliances
  • safety equipment 
  • portable generators
  • medical supplies
  • dinghies, canoes and boats 
  • whiteboards, tables and chairs
  • bats, balls, gloves and saddles
  • events including launch and opening events 
  • landscaping (unless towards improving accessibility) 
  • training programs 
  • sponsor (auspice) fees
  • grant writing fees
  • catering
  • membership fees
  • internal operating costs.

The following will NOT be funded.

  • Works that have already commenced or for which the applicant organisation already has expenditure under contract prior to the start date indicated on the Round Dates table.
  • Projects that are considered to be the core responsibility of other levels of government, e.g. Queensland Government departments such as the Department of Education or Queensland Health.
  • General public liability insurance costs for the organisation, however, public liability costs that are specific to the project are eligible.
  • Staff wages.
  • Debt payment.
  • General operating expenses such as electricity, lease or rental payments, telephone, purchase of playing equipment etc. that are part of the organisation’s ongoing expenses.
  • Primarily commercial or fundraising ventures.
  • Projects where funding contributions are not confirmed in writing.

5. What can be funded?

Option 1 – Planning and design for a proposed Community Facility improvement or development project 

Applications will be assessed on how the proposal addresses the Option 1 Assessment Criteria and any prioritised project type. 

Projects may include:

  • design plans
  • the engagement of specialist consultants
  • contaminated land investigations and/or the engagement a Suitably Qualified Person under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) for matters relating to contaminated land
  • development application fees, certification fees and other elements critical to complete scoping and development of the project.

Option 2 – The construction phase of a Community Facility improvement, development or maintenance project

Applications will be assessed on how the project addresses the Option 2 Assessment Criteria and any prioritised project type. 

For the purposes of this option, the terms improvement and development include:

  • the replacement or upgrade of infrastructure, e.g. clubhouses or buildings, sports fields, indoor sports flooring, court conversion to multi-use and new or energy-efficient light installation
  • the development of new infrastructure, e.g. clubhouses, sports fields, Accessible and ambulant amenities, change rooms, water tanks, irrigation systems, access paths and ramps, solar panels, field lighting, Accessible car parking, practice training nets, automated doors, lifts and storage facilities.

For the purposes of this option, the term maintenance means work on existing infrastructure undertaken with the intention of:

  • reinstating the physical condition to a specified standard or replacement of like-for-like
  • preventing further deterioration or failure
  • undertaking repairs for health, safety and/or security reasons.

Examples of maintenance projects include repairs to a clubhouse, community hall or building, sports field refurbishment, canteen or kitchen replacements and flooring repairs, court resurfacing, replacement of field lights and irrigation systems.

Multiple project applications

Applicants can apply again for the Lord Mayor’s Better Suburbs Grants Community Facility Category for the construction phase of their project if they have previously been successful toward the planning and design stage, however, the first grant must be completed and acquitted before the next application can be considered.

Only one project per Council Community Leased site or Community Facility will be supported per round to a maximum of $200,000.

6. Funding available

You can apply for a grant ranging from $10,000 to $200,000 (GST exclusive). As resources are limited, not every application that meets the assessment criteria will necessarily receive a grant. Applications may also be part-funded.

Applications that include contributions from the applicant are encouraged, however, the applicant organisation’s capacity to contribute towards and maintain the project will be considered in the Assessment Process. The applicant’s contribution may be cash, other funding assistance or an In-Kind Contribution (e.g. voluntary labour or Materials). 

Other funding assistance includes other agencies who are contributing to the overall cost, e.g. 50% funding from the Queensland Government and/or other agencies.

7. Financial arrangements


If you are successful in obtaining a grant, you must sign the Funding Agreement and return it to Council. This step must be completed before any funding will be provided to you by Council under these guidelines.

Progressive payments may apply for larger grants. Details regarding progressive payments, where applicable, will be outlined in the Funding Agreement. 


If your organisation or your Auspice Organisation (where applicable) is GST registered, 10% GST will be added to your grant as an itemised GST gross-up.

If your organisation or your Auspice Organisation (where applicable) is not GST registered, 10% GST will be added to your grant but will not be itemised as GST.

For advice on GST, contact your tax advisor or the Australian Taxation Office on 13 24 78 or via its website.

8. Assessment Process

Provided the eligibility criteria for making a grant application under these guidelines are satisfied, the project will be assessed against the following assessment criteria. Assessment will be based on the combined score across the criteria that apply to the project.

Option 1 Assessment Criteria – Planning and Design phase

This table provides information on the assessment criteria of Option 1 Assessment Criteria – Planning and Design phase, including criteria number, criteria and percentage.
Criteria numberCriteriaPercentage
1Ability to contribute to the objectives of the grant program25%
2Demonstrated need for the project and anticipated Community Benefit25%
3Evidence of consultation and partnerships undertaken during project development15%
4Evidence of in-principle support from Council to progress the project planning20%
5Evidence of committee funding or club funding15%

Option 2 Assessment Criteria – Construction phase

This table provides information on Option 2 Assessment Criteria - Construction phase, including criteria number, criteria and percentage.
Criteria numberCriteriaPercentage
1Ability to contribute to the objectives of the grant program20%
2Demonstrated need for the project and anticipated Community Benefit25%
3Evidence of consultation and partnerships undertaken during project development15%
4Evidence of project readiness including a comprehensive budget, site plan, sketch designs, confirmed funding contributions, applicant’s capacity to contribute and detailed quotes to demonstrate value for money for Council25%
5Demonstrated maintenance planning for the Community Facility15%

Consideration will also be given in the Assessment Process to proposals that improve Accessibility and make community facilities more inclusive or increase the participation of people from diverse backgrounds (cultural, economic, age).  

Preference will be given to applications that relate to improving, developing and maintaining Council Community Leased Facilities.

Following the initial assessment by Council officers, recommendations will be provided to the Comparative Assessment Committee which makes recommendations to Council's delegate.  Council’s delegate makes the final decision regarding funding allocation.

9. Application process

How to apply

All applications are to be submitted via SmartyGrants. This online application system will allow applicants to save, develop and print out applications before they are submitted. Supporting material can be attached to the online application.

A budget table is required to support your application. This is a critical aspect of your submission. Before you apply, it is highly recommended you review a budget table example to assist you with developing your budget.

If your organisation is on contaminated land, you should discuss your project with Council’s Contaminated Land Officer to understand the additional costs you will incur due to your contaminated land status. If your organisation is on a closed landfill site, please refer to Council’s Landfill Lessee Guide.

Once you have submitted an application through SmartyGrants, you will receive an email confirming receipt of the application. The submitted application will be kept confidential and the contents will not be disclosed to any person outside the application and Assessment Process.

See the schedule of program dates for notification timeframes on Council’s website.

When open for submission, all applications are submitted online.

Assessment and outcomes

You will receive a letter advising whether your application was successful or unsuccessful within the timeframe indicated in the Round Dates table.

The list of successful applicants will be published on Council’s website.

Successful applicants

If you are successful in obtaining a grant, you must sign the Funding Agreement and return it to Council. This step must be completed before any funding will be provided to you by Council under these guidelines.

You must: 

  • ensure that you continue to comply with these guidelines
  • deliver the project in accordance with the contents of the submitted application approved by Council for the provision of a grant
  • comply with the terms and conditions in the Funding Agreement (including any applicable special conditions) 
  • fully acquit the grant to Council in accordance with the terms and conditions in the Funding Agreement. 

Unsuccessful applicants

Failure to receive funding is not necessarily due to a poor application but may be the result of the demand for funds. Unsuccessful applicants can seek feedback on their application by contacting a Council Grants Officer and may be encouraged to resubmit their application for consideration in a future grant round.

You may wish to consider submitting your application to another grants program. Both the Queensland and Australian Governments have websites that list available grants:

10. Acquittal

The successful applicant must provide a completed Acquittal Form to Council within 12 months of the Notification Date. This document must detail the outcomes of the project and how the funds were spent. It must demonstrate that funding has been used for the purpose for which it was provided, include a report of financial transactions and provide evidence that the project achieved its intended objectives.

Successful applicants will receive a link to the Acquittal Form that will be attached to their application in SmartyGrants.

11. Enquiries

All applicants must contact Council and ask to speak with a Council officer to confirm their eligibility, obtain advice on their proposed project and complete the Approval for Works Form (AFW) prior to commencing an application. An approved AFW will need to be attached to the application.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, please contact Council through the National Relay Service:

  • TTY users phone 133 677 then ask for 07 3403 8888
  • Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 07 3403 8888
  • internet relay users connect to the NRS and then ask for 07 3403 8888.

If you require this information in other languages, please phone the Translating and Interpreter Service (TIS) on 131 450 and ask to be connected to Brisbane City Council on 07 3403 8888.

All enquiry services are free.

12. Glossary

Accessible (or Accessibility)

Buildings, information, activities and services that are available to the public are able to be entered and made use of by people with disability. See Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) for more information.

Acquittal Form

This is an online form and is a condition of grant funding. Council requires you submit a project acquittal report at the end of your project. This report must include a financial report that details project expenditure, and an evaluation report outlining the project's outcomes and how they contributed to the aims and objectives of the grant program.

Approval for Works Form (AFW)

This is an online form available on Council’s website. Tenants of Council land must complete the AFW on a Community Lease Site online form to request the consent of Council as landlord for any proposed works within the lease area.

Assessment Process

The process where applications are assessed against the assessment criteria under these guidelines and with reference to prioritised project types and a determination is made for recommendation to Council’s delegate.

Auspice Organisation

An incorporated not-for-profit organisation that accepts and manages the legal and financial responsibility of the funding on behalf of an unincorporated not-for-profit organisation.

Community Benefit

Describes tangible and intangible benefits and opportunities to members of the public and can include cultural, social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Community Facility

A facility that supports community, sport, recreational, and cultural activities and in doing so, helps provide for the physical, cultural and social wellbeing of the community.

Comparative Assessment Committee 

The role of Comparative Assessment Committee members is the 'Review of assessment process and funding recommendations'. 

Contaminated Land Officer

A Council officer that provides support to tenants undertaking work on contaminated land.

Council Grants Officer

A Council officer responsible for the management of the grant administration process.

Council Community Leased Facility 

Land and/or facilities that are owned or controlled by Council and that Council has leased to a community organisation for sport, recreation, cultural or other community purposes. 


Equipment purchased for use during the project that can continue to be used after the completion of the project. 


Expected eligible costs such as construction costs, professional fees, statutory fees and charges, contingency, Materials and audit costs for the acquittal of projects.

Funding Agreement

The agreement between Council and a successful applicant under this grant program and which contains terms and conditions relating to the grant of funding including any special conditions that may be applicable.  


Goods and Services Tax payable pursuant to the GST Laws. 

GST Laws

A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth) together with all other laws and regulations which impose or regulate the implementation and operation of the GST.


Expected contributions received including grants, donations, and your organisation’s own financial and in-kind support.

In-Kind Contribution

The dollar-value of non-cash contributions to a project, e.g. office space, staff time or voluntary labour that would otherwise have needed to be paid for.

Letters of support

Letters of endorsement or commitment to the project received from your State governing body, partners, sub-lessees, other community organisations and elected members.


Consumable materials which are purchased to be used for the purpose of the project and are intended to be used up by the completion of the project.

Notification Date

The date that Council notifies the applicant in writing of the application outcome.  

Not-for-profit organisation

An organisation whose constitution states that any profits or surpluses must be used to further the objectives of the organisation rather than benefit an individual or group of individuals.

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