A ten-year Capital Works Program of Sunshine Coast Council is delivering key infrastructure projects and successfully leveraging grant funding.
With a local government area of 2291km2 and an estimated population of more than 292,900, Sunshine Coast Council strives to deliver a range of quality infrastructure, including several region-making projects, for its growing community.
The Council is on track to deliver around 95 per cent of its scheduled projects through its 2016-17 $253 million Capital Works Program, including a solar farm that will offset 100 per cent of its electricity consumption. On top of that, the next five years will see a new city centre in Maroochydore take shape – Australia’s first truly smart city – and the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project which includes a new 2450m runway, completed.
To help deliver these projects, Council has successfully developed a strong 10 Year Capital Works Program with a clear focus on a rolling two to three year advanced design and approval process, and is proactive in identifying grant opportunities and managing funding throughout planning and delivery phases. This includes a strategic funding policy and a corporate funding register.
Director Infrastructure Services Andrew Ryan said forward planning provided grant providers with strong confidence in projects proceeding.
“Our strong grant applications are built on real designs and thorough cost estimates for shovel ready projects,” Mr Ryan said.
“The success rate we have with applications is high because we are able to demonstrate that projects are in advanced delivery status.
“The advanced designs and approvals then allow for high efficiency in construction delivery, meaning we can claim and acquit grant funds in the financial year the grant was offered.”
Mr Ryan said Council’s grants management was a team effort across several departments.
“We have a dedicated funding partnerships team and qualified project managers who all work closely to manage grants funding and expenditure before and during a project.
“Good working relationships and networking is essential for our teams.
“Having strong internal and external networks allows our funding partnerships team to maintain a good understanding of external programs as well as internal projects and their suitability, to align these and submit applications wherever possible.
“This team stays up to date with funding opportunities through their networks in the state and federal governments, and monitors media releases when program announcements are made.
“Then, by tracking the funding closely throughout the life of a project we can manage terms and conditions, schedules, milestones and variations, and identify potential underspends early.
“Our project delivery chain also includes dedicated key resources to manage grant reporting, claims processes and final acquittal.”
The corporate funding register helps track various funding applications and successful grants.