Special purpose grants

Local governing bodies and other incorporated organisations providing local government services in the Northern Territory can apply for special purposes funding to improve:

  • community infrastructure
  • local government service delivery outcomes.

There are two funding rounds per year.

The first round opens in August each year. The second round opens in February or March.

The program aims to:

  • support the implementation of Northern Territory Government policy
  • help deliver outcomes outlined in a council’s strategic or operational plans and regional management plans
  • develop local government capacity
  • assist local governing bodies and the constituent communities they represent to become stronger and self-sustaining
  • help to deliver essential council infrastructure and services
  • provide a potential source of additional funding to those non local government bodies that provide local government/municipal services, like trustees of reserves and cemetery trusts.

Who can apply

You can apply if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • be a local governing body or an incorporated organisation delivering local government or municipal services
  • have a current business or management plan
  • have acquitted all previous department grants and complied with all other accountability requirements
  • have adequately demonstrated that the grant will not duplicate funding already provided under this or other funding sources
  • demonstrate that your application supports key policy platforms of the Northern Territory Government
  • you must complete the application form and submit appropriate supporting documentation such as quotes, project plans, budgets etc.

Funding amounts

There is no set funding amount for this program. The funding amount changes each year depending on government and departmental priorities.

What you can apply for

Grants that have been approved in previous years include:

  • upgrades for parks, sporting and recreational areas
  • staff housing on remote communities and general infrastructure renovations or upgrades
  • purchase of plant and equipment that will improve local government service delivery
  • assistance with infrastructure projects.

If the proposed project relies on pre-conditions (such as the acquisition of a section 19 lease under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act), then the application should not be submitted until there is conclusive evidence that the condition will not hinder the progress of the project funding being applied for.

What you can't apply for

Grants have not been approved in previous years for projects including:

  • buying vehicles
  • establishing new community rubbish tips
  • remediating existing rubbish tips
  • payment of sitting fees, travel costs, accommodation or hospitality items for meetings
  • recurrent purchases that are outside of council budget - like staff salaries
  • road repairs and maintenance
  • construction of swimming pools
  • purposes that are not related to local government services and that should be addressed by another government agency.

Before you apply

You are encouraged to discuss your application with your relevant regional office or the grants unit before you apply.

A maximum of three applications will be accepted per council, per round. If applying more than once, please prioritise your application to streamline the assessment process.

All applications from councils must exclude any GST component and administration or project management fees from the grant amount requested. These fees are expected to be absorbed by council and can represent an ‘in-kind’ contribution to the application.

How to apply

To apply follow these steps.

Step 1. Fill in the special purpose grants application form (1.6 mb).

Step 2. Email your completed form and attachments to the Local Government Grant Unit at lg.grants@nt.gov.au by the close of business on the due date.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed by a panel, who will make recommendations to the Minister. The Minister has the final say on which applications are funded.

Your application will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • community acceptance and benefit of the project
  • alignment to Northern Territory Government policies and council priorities as outlined in strategic and operational plans
  • relative importance to the delivery of local government core services
  • recognition will be given to issues of geographical equity
  • organisational contributions to the project - both cash and in-kind
  • capacity to provide on-going resourcing for project if required, like repairs and maintenance.

Successful applicants will receive a letter of advice from the Minister.

Unsuccessful applicants will receive a letter from the Department.

If your application is successful

You will receive:

  • a letter from the Minister advising that the grant has been approved
  • a letter of offer, acceptance and acquittal form from the Department.

You will need to do the following to receive your grant funding:

  • make sure you have no outstanding grant acquittals
  • return the signed acceptance form back to the Department with appropriate authorisation
  • expend the entire grant funding within two years of receipt of the funding
  • acquit all, partial or nil expenditure on or before 30 June each year thereafter for a period of two years.

Funds management

  • All approved projects are required to be procured in accordance with the Local Government Act and the Northern Territory Government “Buy Local” policy if applicable
  • The purpose for which grant funding is provided cannot be changed following the Minister for Housing and Community Development’s approval, however, minor changes to the purpose of the approved project may be approved by the department on application
  • Unspent or surplus funds remaining may be required to be returned to the department, such amounts would be considered on a case by case basis
  • The department reserves the right to request the full value of the grant to be returned if the council disposes of the asset within four (4) years of the payment of the grant.


Phone: (08) 8999 8523

Last updated: 19 July 2017