Jacaranda Advisory

Safe Night Out Strategy - Grant Funding Available

The Queensland Government has now implemented the Safe Night Out Strategy with the establishment of 15 Safe Night Precincts across Queensland.

Licensees within a Safe Night Precinct will form a local board which will operate as an incorporated association, with licensees required to become a member of the local board receiving a written notice from the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming.  Once formed, the local board is then responsible for promoting the responsible service and consumption of alcohol to minimise alcohol and drug-related violence in their area and to ensure the safety of the community and their precinct's amenity.  The board will also maintain a close relationship with community organisations that provide rest and recovery services in their precinct.

Once a Safe Night Precinct board has been formed it is eligible to apply for one or more Queensland Government Safe Night Precinct grants.

Seed funding

The Queensland Government is providing a seed funding pool of $50,000 per precinct to assist local boards with establishment and administration costs, and an application for the grant may be submitted at any time once the precinct has been prescribed.  To apply for a seed funding grant, the Safe Night Precinct board must have an ABN and be registered for GST, and must hold a valid bank account.

There are a number of steps involved in seed funding, which includes the abovementioned ABN and GST registrations and bank account creation, as well as completion of an annual budget, submission of the seed funding application, tax invoicing by the board, preparation of an annual financial statement, and acquittal of the grant by the OLGR.

Operational Funding

In addition to the seed funding, a further $8,000,000 in operational funding is available to assist local boards in implementing initiatives that will minimise alcohol and drug-related harm, along with disturbances and public disorder, in their Safe Night Out Precinct.  Grant applications for operational funding will be accepted in four rounds each year.  Local boards can apply for a maximum of $50,000 of grants in three of the four rounds, with one round per year having an increased available amount of $100,000 per board available.  Round 1 applications close on 31 January 2015 with subsequent rounds for applications in 2015 will close on the last day of February, May, August and November.

When applying for operational funding, a plan developed by the board to implement the strategy to restore responsible behaviour, respect, and stamp out alcohol and drug-related violence must be attached to the application.  The application will then be evaluated by the Government Statisticians Office against the strategy objectives.

There are a number of steps involved in operational funding, so it is important to ensure that members of a precinct board's management committee have an understanding of governance models, frameworks and tools which will allow them to pursue the objectives of the precinct board in an effective and accountable manner.

The board will need to source quotes for budget items to be included with their application, and all items must be purchased within 6 months of grant approval and acquittal documents provided to OLGR.  As these acquittal documents may be audited by the OLGR Audit Unit it is imperative that proper records are maintained.

Jacaranda Advisory's related accounting firm HMW Partners is able to assist with your application for seed or operational grant funding, including GST registration, ABN applications, budgets, financial forecasts, board governance or development of a Safe Night Out Strategy.  Please contact Steve Koman on (07) 3234 8988 if you would like to discuss this opportunity.

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