Disaster Ready Fund frequently asked questions

On this page

  • Disaster Ready Fund overview
  • Eligibility
  • Funding and financials
  • Application

Disaster Ready Fund overview

The Disaster Ready Fund is an Australian Government disaster risk reduction initiative which will fund a diverse set of large scale and long-term resilience projects in partnership with states and territories. Read more on our main Disaster Ready Fund page.



Has the allocation of funding for Round Two been pre-determined for specific eligible activities or Natural Hazards?  

No. There is no set allocation of funding for specific eligible activities or natural hazards. 


Can my project focus on COVID-19 health related measures such as PPE, vaccinations etc?  

No, pandemics and biohazards are not eligible hazard types under the Australian Government guidelines. 


Are roads and telecommunication infrastructure in scope? 

Road and telecommunication infrastructure projects will only be supported if they meet the DRF objectives with their primary purpose, (e.g. upgrading infrastructure to make it more resilient, such as culverts). Examples such as building a road which could assist with evacuation would not meet the DRF objectives, as evacuation would not be the primary purpose of the infrastructure.  


Are research institutions eligible to submit project proposals for the Victorian application? 

Research institutions such as universities are eligible to submit project proposals for the Victorian Application provided proposals are submitted to EMV by 20 March 2023. 


Are biosecurity threats eligible hazard types?

Biosecurity threats are typically outside the remit of the Disaster Ready Fund Act 2019, and therefore would not normally be funded under the Disaster Ready Fund.


Are cyber threats eligible hazard types?

Cyber threats are outside the remit of the Disaster Ready Fund Act 2019, and therefore normally are unable to be funded under the Disaster Ready Fund.

Funding and financials 


What is the co-contribution requirement? 

Project owners must contribute at least 50 per cent of eligible project expenditure towards each project. Co-contribution costs can include, but are not limited to: 

  • a direct (cash) funding contribution provided at the time of project commencement;  

  • funds the Applicant has already invested in a program or project on or any time after 1 July 2020, and only where the Australian Government contribution from the DRF is expected to extend or enhance that program or project subject to alignment with the DRF Objectives of the Australian Government guidelines. The Australian Government will not fund project cost overruns;  

  • any costs associated with the Applicant’s delivery of the project, for example construction or project delivery; and  

  • other in-kind costs, such as wages directly attributable to the delivery of the project, and/or supplies, materials, and specific equipment required to execute the project.


Can I sell or license my product or service upon completion of the project? 

Projects that develop products or services for commercial application and gain, including those by the not-for-profit sector, will not be considered for funding.  

Any products or services created using public funding that project owners would then profit from, will not be eligible. 


Who will the Funding Agreement be with? 

NEMA, as an Australian Government entity, will execute a Funding Agreement with EMV via a Federation Funding Agreement (FFA – Environment). EMV will then be responsible for disbursing funds for approved projects and liaising with any project partners. The Australian Government will not directly fund or enter into any agreement/s with third parties (e.g. other organisations that EMV partners with on a project). 



Can I apply for the DRF directly through NEMA instead of through the Victorian application process run by EMV? 

No. Projects owners in Victoria must apply through EMV.  Applications cannot be submitted directly to the Australian Government. 


What is SmartyGrants? 

SmartyGrants (External link) is a web-based grants management system. EMV will administer the Victorian application process using this system. EMV will continue to administer Risk and Resilience through SmartyGrants.  


Will there be future rounds of the Disaster Ready Fund that I can apply for? 

The dates for future rounds of the DRF have not been announced by the Australian Government. EMV will provide an update to eligible applicants once advice is received on when future rounds may open. 


What if I wish to apply for a project that is multi-jurisdictional or isn’t based in Victoria? 

Projects must be delivered within Victoria. Applicants may deliver projects across multiple jurisdictions, however they must have a significant Victorian-based component. If your project is multi-jurisdictional please contact drf@emv.vic.gov.au (External link) to discuss funding eligibility.  


Is there any limit to the number of proposals per project owner? Can project owners submit multiple proposals? 

No, there is no limit on the number of proposals.


What content types can be submitted via the online application forms?

The online application cover sheet and project application forms support text-only fields, number-only fields, tick boxes and drop-down lists. If wanting to submit other content types (e.g. formatted text, tables, charts, images, etc), these can be included in the mandatory and optional attachments as appropriate.


Who can I contact if I have further questions? 

If you have any queries regarding the Disaster Ready Fund we encourage you to contact our team at drf@emv.vic.gov.au (External link)  


Should I submit one or multiple applications?

There is no limit on the number of applications you can submit. Applicants may submit similar proposals through more than one Lead Agency, tailored for delivery in different states and/or territories, however a separate and unique 50 per cent co-contribution must be provided for each project

Some considerations for submitting one vs multiple applications:

  • Cohesion of application – does it make sense with multiple components? Is the story clear?
  • Impact on community
  • Amount requested

Can I claim work from a project which has received Commonwealth funding?

Commonwealth funding CANNOT be leveraged for a co-contribution.

However, an applicant’s input (in-kind, direct cash contribution) into a program which received Commonwealth funding may be considered as a legitimate co-contribution provided that the applicant is able to make a clear distinction from the Commonwealth’s input.


Can we go 10% over the 600 word limit for the selection criteria

No, the 600 word limit is a hard limit.


I applied for Risk and Resilience, can I apply for Round Two of the DRF?

Yes, you may apply for Round Two of the Disaster Ready Fund.

If your application is successful in Risk and Resilience and the co-contribution includes the same allocation of resources, you may need to withdraw your Round Two application at a later date.


What are the expectations around collaboration around stakeholder support – what breadth of people should be on the applications? Is formal support from stakeholders required?​​​​​

For joint projects, one lead organisation should be nominated to lead the proposal. Letters of support will be required from all contributing partners.

To demonstrate alignment with specific disaster risk reduction and mitigation plans, applicants are encouraged to secure letters of support from organisations responsible for the development of those plans.

In Round One, specific consideration was given to the extent to which Applicants have consulted with, and have buy in from, affected community stakeholders, including relevant local government/s and First Nations communities. 


Can projects in the early stages of development be considered for funding?

In Round One, pilot programs were among the projects awarded funding by the Commonwealth.


What is the desired scale of funding requests?

There is no minimum or maximum amount of Commonwealth funding that an applicant can request.

In Round One, the smallest successful funding request nationally was $8,439, while the largest successful funding request was $20,000,000.


What was the rate of success for Round One in Victoria?

In Round One, Emergency Management Victoria received 101 proposals. Ultimately, Victoria submitted 44 proposals to the Commonwealth for consideration and received funding for 31 of those proposals, securing over $26 million in Commonwealth investment.


Do you have advice on co-contribution waivers?

The Commonwealth has advised that co-contribution waivers or partial waivers will only be considered in rare and exceptional circumstances. Victoria was not successful in securing waivers from the Commonwealth for any proposals in Round One.

As per the Victorian Application Guide, requests for waivers and partial waivers are more likely to be successful where there are several factors contributing to the inability to raise a co-contribution, and/or where the public good associated with the project is clearly demonstrated and evidence is provided to support this claim. Please review the Victorian Application Guide for more information on possible contributing factors.

Formal requests for waivers must be made at the time of application, through the application form. Requests received after the closing time will not be accepted. Applicants should discuss any proposed exceptional circumstances waivers or reductions by emailing drf@emv.vic.gov.au (External link) before submitting an application.


What level of approval is required for delivery partners?

Approval will be required from delivery partner representatives who hold the appropriate level of financial delegation to approve their contribution to the application.


Is it possible to cost in a doctoral scholarship into funding applications for projects that incorporate both a development and evaluation (research) component?

It is important to note that section 7 of the Victorian Application Guide (Ineligible expenditure) states that ‘wages that are not related to the direct delivery of the funded activities’ are ineligible.

Assuming the applicant can demonstrate that the student funding will directly and fully contribute to the delivery of the project (research output, etc), it could be considered eligible for DRF funding, or as an in-kind co-contribution (where the funding is provided by a partner organisation). Alternatively, the applicant could count the hours of research carried out by the student toward the in-kind co-contribution. The Commonwealth Program Delegate will be the final decision maker on what constitutes ineligible expenditure (after applications are received by the National Emergency Management Agency).


Is there an opportunity to refine applications between submitting applications and the applications going to NEMA?

Due to the short timeframe for state level assessment there will not be a formal opportunity to amend applications once submissions close on Wednesday 20 March.


Can nationwide organisations be considered as delivery partners?

Yes, nationwide organisations can be delivery partners.


Is the application’s insurance-related question considered for assessment?

No. The following question will not be considered by assessment panel: “Does the project have a focus on or expected benefits for insurance affordability and/or availability, through risk mitigation or other means?”

This question is for NEMA’s analysis of successful projects only.


Can we reference more localised/internal risk assessments? If so, would you want us to include a full copy of a risk assessment?

You are welcome to reference any risk assessment you have access to. If the risk assessment is not publicly available, you should attach it to your application as an Optional Attachment. The list provided in Victoria’s Application Guide is not exhaustive.


How many projects were funded in Victoria in Round One?

Victoria was awarded over $26m for 31 projects across:

  • 17 infrastructure & 14 systemic risk reduction projects
  • 17 local government, 9 state government, 4 NGOs, and one catchment authority
  • Funding amounts ranged from $30K to $7M per project and were matched dollar for dollar with an in-kind or cash contribution
  • Median Commonwealth funding amount awarded was $238,227 per project
  • Project durations range from 10 months to three years.

When will successful projects be announced?

Outcomes are due to be announced by NEMA in June 2024.

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