Environment Grants guidelines

Brisbane City Council's Lord Mayor's Environment Grants are part of the Lord Mayor's Community Sustainability and Environment Grants program. They enable community groups and non-profit organisations to deliver environmental initiatives within the Brisbane City Council local government area (LGA).

Learn about the Lord Mayor's Environment Grants:

Aim of the Lord Mayor's Environment Grants

In line with Brisbane Vision aspirations to be a clean, green and sustainable city, the Environmental Grants aim to improve Brisbane’s natural environment by providing assistance to community groups to undertake environmental initiatives related to:

  • biodiversity, including:
    • bushland, wetlands and coastal ecosystem/habitat conservation
    • fauna and flora protection and conservation
  • environmental monitoring and reporting, which must be consistent with Queensland Government’s current biocondition monitoring and evaluation methodology
  • ethnobiology, for example, promoting an appreciation of the cultural heritage of biological knowledge in Indigenous Australian communities
  • operational and administration expenses to deliver environmentally based projects.  

What can be funded?

There are two categories available to apply for funding. Applicants are invited to apply for one or both categories. If you are applying for operational and administration expenses that support multiple projects, ensure you only use Category 2 and make a separate application.

If you are applying for one on-ground project that has a proportion of operational and administration expenses, use Category 1.

To be eligible for funding, the application must address the assessment criteria.

Category 1 – Environmental projects

This category is for specific environmental on-ground projects and events from $1000 and up to $20,000 to fund materials and services that are to be used directly for the nominated project.

  • Materials include, but are not limited to:
    • local native plants
    • tree bags, weed mat, mulch, water crystals
    • materials designed to protect and assist plant growth
    • wildlife friendly fencing to assist with natural regeneration
    • products for weed control such as herbicide.
  • Services include, but are not limited to:
    • laboratory test costs (up to $500) for the evaluation and monitoring of biodiversity
    • wildlife monitoring and reporting
    • contractor services to enable the delivery of the project (e.g. bush regeneration)
    • contractor service costs for the marketing and development of promotional material (e.g. a graphic designer used to create flyers, advertising, etc. for projects and events)
    • the materials associated with the development, printing and promotion of educational resources for the project or event
    • project staff costs to achieve identified actions or tasks to deliver a nominated project (e.g. the nominated project or event management, coordination of volunteers for events). Note: costs for project staff are limited to a maximum of half the allocated funds for a project and are to be directly attributed to the nominated project and separate from general running and operations of a non-profit organisation. While contractor and project staff costs can be funded, preference will be given to applications that demonstrate a high level of community involvement in the project.
  • Equipment costs:
    • to be bought specifically for the delivery of a nominated project and that can be reused in another project at another time e.g. mulch forks, rakes and herbicide spray equipment etc. (up to $1000 and/or 10% of total project costs, whichever is less). Note: Equipment does not include electrical equipment such as computers and data projectors
  • Vehicle costs required to complete the nominated project (up to $500)
  • Catering that is directly supporting the outcome of the project (up to $200). Note: alcohol will not be funded
  • Nursery operations – that produce local native plants for distribution to the general public or for use within on-ground restoration projects located within the LGA.

Category 2 – Operational and administrative expenses

This category is available to support operational and administration expenses of community groups from $1000 to $8000. These costs must be attributable to activities and community services performed by the group within the LGA and have an environmental focus.

  • This includes, but is not limited to:
    • telephone and internet costs
    • website development
    • electricity or gas
    • postage
    • photocopying
    • cleaning products
    • stationery
    • contractor costs (e.g. for grant writing)
    • audit fees (up to $500)
    • accountancy services (up to $500)
    • rent (up to $500).

Note: your application must articulate the environmental projects and activities your organisation would provide during the year, with the support of operational and administration funding.

Eligible applications

On-ground projects must be on Council land and have land-manager approval provided at the time of application.

The organisation must be a not-for-profit community-based group that is incorporated or be auspiced by a non-profit incorporated body that is able to accept legal and financial responsibility for the project and its activities.

Grants will only be available to organisations where projects and administration expenses are delivering or supporting projects that are based within the LGA.

Applicants (and their auspice) must not have outstanding debts or overdue, unacquitted grants with Council.

On-ground environmental projects must be carried out on Council land and be accompanied by written approval from the local Council land manager.

Projects will only be eligible if the project is located within the LGA and 200 metres seaward from the lowest astronomical tide.

Ineligible applications

The following will NOT be funded:

  • projects that have already commenced or projects to which your organisation has committed expenditure before the grant round notification date
  • projects that ‘top up’ an existing proposal or other grants or require ongoing Council funding unless the source of ongoing funding is assured
  • projects that are the core responsibility of other levels of government e.g. the Queensland Government’s Department of Education and Training
  • more than 10% of the total project costs towards capital expenditure that are essential to the completion of the project (e.g. garden tools and equipment)
  • applications that require ongoing funding, unless the source of ongoing funding is assured
  • projects, activities and community services that occur outside the LGA
  • donations to individuals or organisations.

Funding considerations

Grants are a competitive process and applications that are eligible and meet the assessment criteria are not guaranteed funding. As a guide, Category 1 will be allocated 60% of the funds for distribution to projects requesting on-ground support, and in Category 2, 40% of the funds will be distributed to operational and administrative expenses. This allocation is subject to the number and quality of applications received.

In some cases, successful applicants may receive a percentage of the total sought, rather than the full amount of funding. If your project cannot proceed without full funding, this should be indicated in your application.


The applicant must provide a co-contribution to meet the full costs of all projects. This could be cash or in-kind contributions. The applicant must be able to demonstrate that such funds are assured. If the applicant is unable to provide such co-contributions a rationale must be provided.

Financial arrangements


If you are successful in obtaining a grant, Council will send you a Funding Agreement that must be completed and returned before funding will be provided.

Goods and services tax (GST)

If you or your auspice are GST registered, 10% GST will be added to your grant as an itemised GST gross-up.

If you or your auspice are not GST registered, 10% GST will be added to your grant, but not itemised as GST.

For advice on GST, please contact your tax advisor, visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

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.

Assessment criteria

Category 1 – Environmental projects

Assessment criteria and percentage weighting for Environmental Grants
Criteria numberAssessment criteriaPercentage
1Contribution to achieving targets and aspirations in Brisbane Vision and the purposes of this grant.Essential
2Demonstrated ability to deliver the project in a sustainable manner (considering environmental and community outcomes).25%
3Ability to promote and market the project to the broader community and industry sectors and for these groups to benefit from the project.20%
4Value for money and sound budget.20%
5Demonstration of applicant's capacity to manage and maintain the project including evaluating and documenting the results.20%
6Evidence of effective consultation, partnering and networking.15%
7Demonstrated ability to comply with approval criteria for necessary permits under State Acts and Council local laws.Essential

Category 2 – Administration and operation expenses

Assessment criteria and percentage weighting for Environmental Grants
Criteria numberAssessment criteriaPercentage
1Contribution to achieving targets and aspirations in Brisbane Vision and the purposes of this grant.Essential
2Demonstrated ability to deliver the project in a sustainable manner (reduce, reuse, recycle).25%
3Demonstrated ability to promote and market projects to the broader community and industry sectors and for these groups to benefit from this support.15%
4Value for money and sound budget.20%
5Demonstration of applicant's capacity to manage funds and documenting the results.20%
6Demonstrated ability to support environmental based community engagement or on ground projects. 20%

Application process

Budget table 

A budget is required to support your application. Before you apply it is highly recommended you review a budget table example to assist you with developing your budget.

Making your application

Before applying for funding, you must plan your proposed project and ensure that it responds to the assessment criteria.

How to apply

When open, applications are submitted online via SmartyGrants.

Application checklist

Please read the grant guidelines fully and ensure your proposal:

  • is eligible within the grant guidelines
  • responds to the assessment criteria
  • can demonstrate capacity to manage the project to completion and acquit the grant funding within one year of the grant being awarded
  • provides any necessary permits under State Acts and Council local laws if relevant to the project
  • contains all necessary maps to clearly show the location of the project
  • includes all relevant attachments
  • demonstrates consultation and written approval from relevant stakeholders:
    • local Councillors
    • relevant land manager representative (Council Regional Coordinator or Land Manager)
    • organisations participating in the project
    • Creek Catchment or Habitat Brisbane officer if you are associated with either of these programs.
  • provides two comparable quotes for items or services above $1000 and one quote for items or services under $1000. Quotes are not required for operating or administration expenses unless requested by Council.


Information about grant decisions will not be released over the phone. A formal letter will be posted, notifying applicants of the outcome.

Successful applicants

You will receive a formal approval letter and a Funding Agreement. The Funding Agreement will include terms and conditions of the grant, any special conditions that have been attached to your grant and GST information. You will need to complete, sign and return the Funding Agreement before any funding will be released.

Successful applicants have 12 months from the time of the notification of your success to complete the project and acquit the grant, unless otherwise negotiated.

Successful applicants will be required to:

  • ensure continued compliance with these guidelines
  • deliver the approved project in accordance with the contents of the submitted applications approved by Council for the provision of a grant
  • fully comply with the terms and conditions set out in the Funding Agreement (including special conditions) provided by Council to the successful applicants
  • fully acquit the grant to Council in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Funding Agreement.

Unsuccessful applicants

If you don't receive funding, it will not necessarily be because you submitted a poor application. It may be because the demand for funds exceeds the amount available. For feedback on your grant application, refer to the contact phone number given in your notification letter. Unsuccessful applicants are welcome to reapply in the future.

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


For further information, you can contact Council.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, contact Council through the:

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

All enquiry services are free.

Terms and conditions

Successful applicants must abide by Council's terms and conditions which are contained in the Funding Agreement.

Applicants must also adhere to any special conditions set by Council.


Not-for-profit organisation

An organisation whose contribution states that any profits or surpluses must be used to further the objectives of the organisation rather than benefit an individual. A registered non-profit organisation is incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), or the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld).


The acquittal form is due within 12 months from the notification date and explains the outcomes of the project and how the funds were spent. It demonstrates that the funding has been used for the purpose for which it was provided, including a certified report of financial transactions and whether the project achieved its intended objectives.


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

In-kind contribution

The dollar value to a project of non-cast contributions, e.g. office space, staff time or voluntary labour that would otherwise need to be paid for. The items or services must be essential to the project.

Equipment (non-consumables)

Equipment that is purchased to be used during the project but can continue to be used after the completion of the project.

Materials (consumables)

Materials purchased to be used during the project that are used up by the completion of the project.

Letters of support

Letters of endorsement or commitment to the project from partners, other community organisations and/or elected members.

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Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.