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Pick My Project FAQs

Here you'll find answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

 

How should I use these FAQs?

Read these along with the Guidelines to find out more detail about Pick My Project.

If you cant find what you are looking for and have a question about the program, contact us.

 

About Voting Outcomes

How many project ideas were successful following the public voting?

Two hundred and thirty seven (237) project ideas were successful following the public vote. This includes 120 project ideas across metropolitan Victoria and 117 across regional Victoria.

How many votes were received?

Following a five-week public voting period, over 95,000 Victorians voted in Pick My Project with over 285,000 votes received. This included over 162,000 votes for metropolitan projects and over 122,000 votes for regional projects.

How has the funding been allocated?

The $30 million grant funding has been divided equally between metropolitan and regional Victoria - $15 million for metropolitan Victoria and $15 million for regional Victoria. The funding has then been allocated based on the population of each of the six metropolitan and nine regional partnership areas, with no partnership area receiving less than $1 million. To ensure a range of small and large communities had the opportunity to be part of Pick My Project, no more than 50 per cent of a partnership areas funding was awarded to one local government area.

Funding allocation by regional partnership areas:

Region Funding allocated Successful projects
Barwon $2,707,434 22
Central Highlands $1,818,528 14
Gippsland $2,434,419 23
Goulburn $1,480,006 9
Great South Coast $1,069,101 9
Loddon Campaspe $2,178,698 16
Mallee $1,002,624 7
Ovens Murray $1,318,500 8
Wimmera Southern Mallee $1,112,834 9

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Funding allocation by metropolitan partnership areas:

Region Funding allocated Successful projects
Eastern $2,933,304 25
Inner Metro $1,129,374 10
Inner South-east $1,621,722 11
Northern $2,947,539 18
Southern $3,646,817 31
Western $2,808,782 25

 

 

How many towns with populations less than 1,000 people were successful?

There are 15 successful project ideas from small towns with a population of less than 1,000 people*, including:

  • Bullioh in the Ovens Murray region, with a population of 75

  • Nullawil in the Mallee region, with a population of 93

  • Corop in the Loddon Campaspe region, with a population of 269

  • Goroke in the Wimmera Southern Mallee region, with a population of 623

*populations based on 2016 Australian Census 

A project in my partnership area received more votes than another project – it wasn’t successful but the other project was. Why is this?

To ensure a range of small and large communities had the opportunity to be part of Pick My Project, no more than 50 per cent of a partnership areas funding was awarded to one local government area. Therefore, if a project had a higher number of votes but was unsuccessful to another project with less votes, it’s because:

  • the projects are in different local government areas
  • the local government area allocation of 50 per cent has been exhausted for the unsuccessful project which had more votes.
There is no winning project near me. Why is this?

Pick My Project is a participatory budgeting initiative, which is a process where the community can help decide how government funds are allocated at a grassroots level. Victorians were empowered to vote for their favourite project ideas in their local community to help make them a reality.

Funding was allocated between the government’s regional partnership areas , and the success of each project idea was based on how many votes it received during the public vote in its respective partnership area. Project ideas that received the most votes within their respective metro or regional partnership area were successful, so long as the 50 per cent local government area guideline in their partnership area wasn’t exhausted.

What other opportunities are available to unsuccessful applicants?

Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to visit the Grants Victoria website, which lists the grant opportunities which are currently available.

Will Pick My Project funding go ahead if there’s a change of government?

The current Victorian government set aside $30 million in the Victorian 2018-19 Budget and have committed to fully fund this initiative.

As the Victorian State election will be held on Saturday 24 November 2018, the Victorian Government will assume a caretaker role from 6pm on Tuesday 30 October 2018 until such time that either it becomes clear that the incumbent government will be returned, or when a new government is commissioned. No funding agreements can be entered into during this caretaker period and, consistent with the current Pick My Project terms of use, the incoming government will retain absolute discretion regarding the entry into funding agreements after the caretaker period.

What support was provided to anyone who didn’t have an email or mobile?

A process was put in place to support anyone who didn’t have an email address or mobile number but wanted to vote in Pick My Project. Voters were asked to:

  • visit the Pick My Project website to determine the three projects they wished to vote for in their local community – if they didn’t have website access, they were encouraged to visit their local library or Neighbourhood House, or speak to friends or family for support
  • contact the Pick My Project team who verified their details and completed their vote. 

The Pick My Project team also travelled around Victoria, hosting over 50 Voting Help Desks to assist people with voting.

Why did you need to collect personal data before someone could vote?

We needed to collect some personal information such as first name, last name, residential street name and postcode in order to help verify votes. Using the combination of email and mobile phone for registration and verification helped us ensure that those who voted were real Victorian residents who were only voting once. Any details provided as part of voting will not be shared with a third party, and voters will only be contacted with information related to Pick My Project if they opted in to do so.

How did you verify the data of voters?

The Pick My Project team verified voter details through email and mobile phone. To complete a vote online, Victorians needed to create an account using a unique email address and a unique mobile phone number. This data was used to generate a two-step verification process which required the user to:

  • click on a verification link that was sent to the email address provided; and
  • use a unique generated-code, sent by SMS, to securely finalise the account set-up.

Votes were also checked in a number of ways during the quality assurance stage that commenced after voting closed. This included: 

  • checking a sample of votes against the Victorian electoral roll 
  • checking votes for any data irregularities, including names and address.
How are you going to ensure that the winning projects are delivered successfully?

All successful projects will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the Victorian Government, which will include details about the project and set out clear milestones. Payments will be according to project milestones being met. We’ll also be running some planning workshops to help partners and applicants build on their project idea before the project begins. 

When will project ideas be delivered?

Projects will be required to be delivered within 12 months after the funding agreement is signed by all parties, subject to extra time for permits and approvals if necessary. Specific due dates and timeframes for individual projects will be set out in the funding agreement for each project.

What happens if a project falls over?

If, for any reason, a project idea is deemed unfeasible during the detailed planning and funding agreement stage, the funding agreement won’t be finalised for the project idea. If this happens, the allocated funds for that project idea will be returned to the Pick My Project program but won’t be reallocated to the next project with the highest number of votes.

About Voting

How are votes checked

From submitting ideas to voting, Pick My Project is predominantly an online process.

To vote, Victorians needed to provide a first name, last name, residential street name and postcode.

To complete an online vote, Victorians needed to provide an:

  1. An active email address – a verification link was sent to this email.
  2. A mobile phone number – an SMS code was sent to verify the number.

Victorians who did not have an email address or mobile phone number had their vote verified over the phone by our contact centre.

This information has helped to ensure that people only vote once, and that project votes are from ‘real’ Victorians.

We’re checking votes in a number of ways, including:

  • Using residential postcodes to ensure only Victorians are voting
  • Checking a sample of votes against the Victorian Electoral role
  • Scanning votes for irregularities.

Project vote counts will be released at the time successful projects are announced.

When will voting open?

Voting is scheduled to open at 9am on Monday 13 August 2018 and will close at 5pm on Monday 17 September 2018.

How will voting work?

You can vote on the Pick My Project website, pickmyproject.vic.gov.au.

Once you have registered, you will have three votes to spend on project ideas you would like to see funded in your local community. You can select your community by searching for your street address, locality or dropping a pin on the map.

In metropolitan areas, you will be able to choose from project ideas located within 5km of your community.

In regional partnership areas, you will be able to choose from project ideas located within 50km of your community.

Everyone will be able to choose from a minimum of 30 projects. If there are less than 30 projects within 5km in the metropolitan areas or 50km in the regional partnership areas then the voting area will expand until you can see the closest 30 projects.

For regional communities where the voting area overlaps with a metropolitan region, a maximum of 150 projects will be shown.

Projects closest to you will be displayed first.

Why can I only vote online?

From submitting your ideas to voting, Pick My Project is an online process. Having an online process allows us to verify the votes and provide voting opportunities for everyone across the state.Using a combination of email and mobile phone for registration and verification helps us ensure that real Victorians are voting.

When will winning projects be announced?

Winning projects will be announced in the weeks following the close of voting.

Following the announcement of winning projects, all project votes will be made public.

Will the projects with the most votes win?

Yes, the success of each project is based on how many votes they receive.

However, there are some rules in place to help ensure that successful projects are distributed fairly both in terms of geographic spread and types of projects. We’re helping to make sure funding is fair by ensuring that:

  • No more than 50 percent of funding in a partnership area can be awarded to one local government; and
  • Where the budget allocation for a region has almost been exhausted, but there’s still enough to fund 90 percent of the next highest voted project in that area, the project will receive 100 percent funding.
Who can vote?

To vote you’ll need to:

  • Be a Victorian resident;
  • Be aged 16 and over; and
  • Register for an account on the Pick My Project website.
How will voting be verified?

All Victorian residents will need to create an account in order to submit their votes for Pick My Project. The following information will be collected for verification purposes to ensure that real Victorians are only submitting three project votes:

  1. An active email address
  2. A mobile phone number – an SMS code will be sent to verify the number
  3. Street address and postcode – this information will be used to verify that voters are located in Victoria
What support will be available to help Victorians take part and submit their votes?

In order to support Victorians with the online process, the project team will:

  • Provide face-to-face ‘help desks’ across Victoria to demonstrate the voting process.
  • Equip library and Neighbourhood House staff across the state to support community members with voting.
  • Provide a step-by-step voting instructional video.
  • Provide phone, email and social media support through a dedicated contact centre – particularly supporting voting for Victorians without access to a mobile phone.
What area can I vote in?

Pick My Project is about Victorians deciding how to make their local communities an even better place to live. To help meet this objective, voting is not state-wide. You need to live or be connected to the local community in which you vote.

You’ll be able to shortlist up to six project ideas in your local community before you vote on your favourite three. If you change or update your selected local community, you’ll lose your shortlist.

If there are other projects outside of your local community that you think deserve funding, speak to your connections who live nearby to get involved and vote!

Can I offer incentives and prizes to encourage people to vote for my project?

While we encourage all applicants and their partner organisation to get behind voting and share and promote their project idea with their community, offering incentives and prizes to encourage people to vote is not permitted. 

To ensure voting is within the spirit of Pick My Project,  the Victorian Government reserves the right to disqualify any projects where incentives or prizes are offered to encourage voting.

What happened to the rule about not allocating more than 50% of funding to one category in any region?

At the start of voting, Pick My Project included a rule that no more than 50% of funding would be provided to one category in any region.

The rule was intended to support diversity of projects in a region.

However, we have found: 

  • In most cases the rule does not need to be applied (because no category is exceeding 50%). 
  • In some regions, applying the rule would actually mean not all of the region’s allocated funding would be available. 
  • In cases where it is applied, the rule can work against project diversity and the preferences of local communities, due to the broad nature of the project categories.

As a result we have removed the rule to ensure the projects most strongly supported by local communities will be successful.

How can small towns compete with larger towns and cities?

Although this is the first time Pick My Project has been run in Victoria, we know from examples in other states and countries that people in small regional and rural towns are exceptional at getting their communities behind their ideas.

To help protect the voting outcomes, we have rules that we can use if the results look biased towards a particular local government area. We’re helping to make sure funding is fair by ensuring that:

  • No more than 50 percent of funding in a partnership area can be awarded to one local government; and
  • Where the budget allocation for a region has almost been exhausted, but there’s still enough to fund 90 percent of the next highest voted project in that area, the project will receive 100 percent funding.

More information on the partnership areas is available in the Pick My Project guidelines.

About the Program

What is Pick My Project?

Pick My Project is a $30M online community grants program that gives Victorians the chance to suggest project ideas and then vote to decide which ones are funded.

It is the first program of its kind in Victoria, offering Victorians an opportunity to make their community an even better place to live.

How does it work?

Between May and July, 2018, Victorians aged 16 and over have the opportunity to submit an idea via an online form. Residents are encouraged to come up with a great project idea to make life in their community even better with the support of an eligible organisation to partner with them.

Ideas will then be reviewed  for eligibility against the program’s guidelines, with eligible project ideas put forward for community voting.

During the voting period, applicants will share their great idea with their networks and encourage people to vote for their project.

Winning projects will be announced in September 2018.

Can I submit more than one idea?

Yes, you can submit as many project ideas as you wish.

When can I submit my project idea?

Applications open on Monday 21 May 2018 and close on Sunday 8 July 2018.

What if I miss the deadline for submitting my application – can I get an extension?

To be fair to all Victorians, no deadline extensions will be granted.

What do I need to do before I submit my application?

The first thing to do is read the guidelines to make sure you and your project idea are eligible for Pick My Project.

You’ll also need Identify and seek agreement from an eligible organisation to partner with you to help deliver your project. If your project idea is for something on land, you’ll need consent from the landholder for the project to be eligible. Download our Landholder Acknowledgement Form and attach your completed form to your application. If your project is on local or State Government owned or managed lands, the Pick My Project team will liaise with them on your behalf during the eligibility review period.
 

What is the funding range?

Projects can cost anything between $20,000 to $200,000 (GST inclusive). 

This grant should cover all costs for the project, unless the project has already been partially funded. 

How will the funding be distributed?

The $30 million grant funding has been divided equally between the Government’s Metropolitan and Regional Partnership areas - $15 million for metropolitan areas and $15 million for regional partnership areas.

Funding has then been divided by the population of each partnership area, with a minimum of $1 million per area. 

To ensure a range of small and large communities have the opportunity to be part of Pick My Project, no more than 50 per cent of an area’s funding can be awarded to one local government area. 

Other ways we are helping to make sure funding is fairly distributed include: 

  • Where the budget allocation for a region has almost been exhausted but there's still enough to fund 90 per cent of the next highest voted project in the partnership area, the project will receive 100 per cent funding. 
Where is the money for this grant coming from?

Funding has been allocated out of the 2018/2019 state budget

How do I know if my partner organisation is eligible?

Call and ask your partner organisation about their ABN status. Another way you can get this information is to search for them on the ABN register website.

Can a business be a partner organisation?

Local businesses can be a part of Pick My Project. However, any applications must be in accordance with the guidelines and must not be in any way for private or for profit purpose.

My organisation has a great project idea – can we submit?

Organisations are welcome to submit. However, you must identify a local resident who supports your project idea and lives in the community where your project is proposed. This local resident will then need to work with you to submit the application on your organisation’s behalf.

I don’t have a partner organisation. How do I find one?

You can do this a few ways:

  • Visit the Community Services Directory and use the search tool
  • Ask your local council and councillors for some ideas
  • Attend an engagement event near you to meet others in your community looking to submit a great project idea
  • Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date and join in the conversation.
I’m not comfortable using a computer. How can I take part?

To help everyone participate, the Pick My Project team are available to help and answer your questions.

You can call us, send an email or attend a community event near you for some face-to-face help.

I don’t have access to the internet – how do I submit my project idea?

Visit your local library where computers with internet are offered free-of-charge.
 

What is my local community?

You need to live or be connected to the area in which you submit a project application.

For Pick My Project, your local community is defined as: 

  • Approximately 5km of where you live (or are connected to) for metropolitan areas
  • Anywhere within your Regional Partnership boundary for regional areas. To check your Partnership Boundary, go to https://www.pickmyproject.vic.gov.au/regions

Remember, when it comes to voting, you’ll need to be able to get out and promote your idea to the local community of that area and encourage them to vote.

What does open and available mean for Pick My Project?

One of the eligibility criteria for Pick My Project is that the project idea needs to be open and available to the wider community.

This means that the project idea needs to be accessed and enjoyed by the wider community.

An example is a community garden at a school that is only used by those students is not open and accessible to the wider community. However, if the community garden was available after hours to the wider community to visit, access and enjoy, this would be eligible.

Can I work for my partner organisation?

Yes, you can work for the partner organisation you submit with, as long as you live (or are connected to) the area you're submitting the project idea in. You still need to have consent from the board of management, responsible officer or equivalent before you submit. Make sure you include the right contact person as the partner organisation contact.

What can be included in the project administration costs?

Project administration costs can include costs to the partner organisation such as contract management, processing funds and invoices, time spent on recruitment, meeting the reporting requirements of the funding agreement, and tracking progress.

You can include other costs such as office materials and stationary, and staff specialist skills, as part of the wider budget.

Can I include salaries or wages in my project idea budget?

Yes, you are encouraged to include any costs associated with delivering the project idea in your budget - these could include salaries and wages for skills and services that you need such as educator, planner or facilitator. It will be largely up to your partner organisation to advise on how those roles are secured and filled for your project idea, if you are successful. Their advice about this will be based on things like the existing skills and capacity within the partner organisation, and any recruitment procedures or policies that might be in place.

How involved can I be in the delivery of the project idea?

Your involvement in the delivery of your project idea, and how you work with your project partner, is an important conversation to have with your partner organisation. Both parties need to be comfortable with your level of participation in the project. This will vary depending on the existing capacity and resources of your partner organisation, the specialist skills required, as well as what role you’re comfortable in taking on.

Things to talk through with your partner before the funding agreement is finalised might include:

  • How involved are you as the applicant owner?
  • Who holds any intellectual property and assets that are developed from the project idea?
  • What skills can you contribute to the project and what other skills might be needed?
  • What happens to the project after the first 12 months?

During the development of the funding agreement, the Pick My Project grants administration team will consult with both the applicant and partner organisation.
 

My project idea will require a space to be rented. Do I need to provide details of this space, and a landholder acknowledgement form?

At this stage, a landholder acknowledgement form is not needed where you will be renting a space.

About Assessment

What happens during the assessment/ review?

During July, our assessment team will be reviewing all submitted project ideas and checking these against the guidelines. They’ll look at:

  • the eligibility criteria outlined in the guidelines;
  • feasibility of the project idea;
  • the detail included in the project idea budget; and
  • legislative constraints and technical constraints which might affect the success of the project idea.

If our assessment team need more information about a project idea, they’ll email the applicant directly.

Once a project idea has been reviewed and approved by our assessment team, they’ll send an email to the project partner and landholders (where there is one) asking them to review and confirm their support for the project idea. The project partner and landholder will be able to approve, reject or query the project.

Projects approved by the partner and landholder will proceed to voting.

Projects rejected by the partner and/or landholder won’t proceed to voting.

Projects that don’t meet the eligibility guidelines won’t proceed to partner or landholder review.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application via email, just prior to the commencement of voting.

How long do I have to respond to queries about my project?

To help us progress your application to partner and landholder review as quickly as possible, we’d appreciate a response to any emails or phone calls within three days.

Will I know if my project idea has been put through to voting before the end of July?

We’re unable to notify applicants if their project idea has been assessed as eligible and put through to voting until the end of our eligibility review process. This is because we need to wait for feedback from the partner organisation and landholder (if there is one). We also have a range of review processes that will continue to run throughout the month of July to ensure our approach is fair and consistent.

We expect that the eligibility review process will be complete by the end of July 2018.

What happens if the applicant, partner organisation or landholder don’t respond in time to approve the project idea?

Where time allows, we’ll follow up with partner organisations and landholders via email and phone.

Project ideas will be assessed as ineligible if a partner or landholder response is not provided during the review period.

When will I hear if my project has been put forward to the voting stage?

We’re expecting to be able to advise all applicants of the eligibility of their project idea late July to early August 2018.

If my project is ineligible, will I be told why?

If your project is deemed ineligible by our assessment team, you’ll receive an email advising you of this. If you need more information, you’ll be able to contact our team for further information.

Can I ask for a reassessment?

Given the timeframes, we’re unable to reassess any applications that are deemed ineligible.

How long will voting be for?

At this stage, it’s likely that voting will start in early August, 2018.

Voting will be open for about one month. We’ll confirm the voting dates before voting begins.

Will I get help to promote my project idea?

Our team will be on the road during voting to share tips and resources to help you promote and share your project idea with your community. We’ll also hold webinars and have a range of resources available online to help you, including translated materials.