Australian Marine Parks

See the following frequently asked questions about the Ocean Discovery and Restoration program

  1. How do I get in touch with the Ocean Discovery and Restoration (ODR) team?

Please feel free to contact the ODR Team with any queries or to commence informal partnering discussions by phoning (03) 6208 2990 or via e mailing ODR.partnerships@environment.gov.au 

2.    Why are there two different ways of partnering under this Program?

  • The four-year program is designed to be flexible to maximise opportunities for partnerships.

As a result, there are two pathways for partnering under the Program:

  • Parks Proposals – where you can partner on a priority project that has been identified by the Director of National Parks (DNP); or
  • Partner Proposals – where you can propose your own project for assessment by the Director of National Parks (DNP).

3.    What is a Parks Proposal?

  • Parks Proposals are projects that the DNP has identified as priority projects for co-contribution. The DNP considers that each of these Parks Proposals meet the Project Criteria (section 13 of the Partnership Call) and once implemented, will help the DNP achieve the Program Outcomes.
  • Parks Proposals are included in the Partnership Call. If there are additional Parks Proposals published following the launch of the Program these will be published on the website over time.
  • Organisations interested in partnering on a Parks Proposal should read the Partnership Call, including Schedule 1 that outlines the process for partnering with the DNP on a Parks Proposal.
  • Organisations may choose to co-contribute to a Parks Proposals through the National Parks Conservation Trust, a charity supporting conservation initiatives in and around Commonwealth reserves, including Australian Marine Parks. Visit parkstrust.org.au for more information.

4.    What is a Partner Proposal?

  • The DNP invites organisations to bring forward their own priority projects that they identify as being consistent with the Project Criteria (section 13 of the Partnership Call) and the relevant Australian Marine Park Management Plan. These proposals are referred to as Partner Proposals.
  • The DNP has suggested several themes in the Partnership Call to help guide prospective partner organisations, however proposals need not be limited to these themes.
  • Organisations interested in co-contributing through the National Parks Conservation Trust, a charity supporting conservation initiatives in and around Commonwealth reserves, should indicate this when commencing informal discussion with the DNP.

5.    How much funding is the Government investing in the Program? 

The Australian Government is committing $15 million (commencing 2021-22 to 2024-25) for partnerships under this Program.  

6.    Who is eligible to apply?

  • Parks Australia will co-contribute with a range of organisations from the philanthropic, corporate, or other sectors on projects important to science, industry, traditional owners, park managers and the community to improve understanding and sustainable management of Australian Marine Parks.
  • Eligibility criteria are included in Section 12 of the Partnerships Call.

7.    How are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and traditional owners involved in this Program? 

  • Parks Australia has co-designed Parks Projects with relevant traditional owner groups to support joint delivery and deliver on Parks Australia’s Indigenous engagement principles.
  • Parks Australia has established Indigenous engagement principles to manage Australian Marine Parks in collaboration with traditional owners. These principles will be used to guide Indigenous engagement by Parks Australia under this Program.
  • Parks Australia encourages partners to consider opportunities to engage Indigenous organisations as partners and/or to consider opportunities to deliver broader benefits for Indigenous communities as part of their Partner Proposal.
  • For more information refer to section 10 of the Partnership Call.

8.    What are the Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property requirements and at what point do I need to engage with relevant Indigenous organisations and/or Traditional Owner groups?

  • Partnerships will appropriately recognise Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP), including by establishing a protocol to manage any ICIP collected, obtained, or created in the course of a Project 
  • This will provide for identifying and recording the owners or custodians of the ICIP; and seeking and documenting the consent of those owners or custodians for the use of ICIP for the Project.
  • We expect that if applicants are involving Traditional Owners that they will have undertaken consultation before submitting a proposal and provide evidence of this consultation with submission. 
  • We recommend consulting with the DNP as a first step for support identifying the appropriate indigenous organisations and Traditional Owner contacts.

9.    If I have an idea or in-kind support to offer, but no funding, can I get involved?

Please contact the ODR Team by phoning (03) 6208 2990 or via emailing ODR.partnerships@environment.gov.au, to discuss your idea or offer of in-kind support.

  • To put forward a Partner Proposal, the Potential Partner(s) will need to commit at least 50 percent of the total resources required to progress the Partner Proposal. Refer to the Partnership Call and Partnering Guide (for Partner Proposals) for further information. 
  • To put forward a Partner Proposal, the eligibility criteria in the Guide for Potential Partners When Completing a Detailed Proposal states:

The Potential Partner must have (or have secured) and be willing to commit at least 50 percent of the total resources required to progress the Partner Proposal. 

  • ‘Secured’ means that there should be a prominent level of certainty that the Potential Partner has established arrangements to ensure that it has at least 50 percent of the total resources required to progress the Partner Proposal.  

For example: A Potential Partner should ‘have in place’ a legally enforceable arrangement or agreement in relation to the relevant funding

  • Willing to commit’ aspect of the Minimum Contribution Criteria will be considered separate from (and in addition to) the requirement to have (or have secured) at least 50 percent of the total project resources required to progress the Partner Proposal. 
  • If a Potential Partner has not demonstrated that they have (or have secured) the relevant resources at the time of submitting their Partner Proposal, the Potential Partner has not satisfied the Minimum Contribution Criteria (regardless of whether their proposal includes an indication that they are ‘willing to commit’). 
  • This means that the 50 percent of the total resources required to progress must be ‘secured’ at the time of the proposal submission, in the form of funding or in-kind contributions or a combination of both.
  • Refer to the Partnership Call and Partnering Guide (for Partner Proposals) for further information. 

Please contact the ODR Team by phoning (03) 6208 2990 or via e mailing ODR.partnerships@environment.gov.au, to discuss your idea or offer of in-kind support.

10.  Are all types of co-contribution/funding eligible under the ODR Program?

The DNP is seeking to partner with a range of different organisations and sectors as part of the ODR Program. Both in-kind and financial contributions are eligible to be considered for co-investment. 

Funding contributions including from those from the private and philanthropic sector, research sector, Traditional Owner groups and a range of other sectors are all eligible for consideration. The Eligibility criteria are included in Section 12 of the Partnerships Call which states: 

To Co-contribute with the DNP on a Partner Proposal, a Potential Partner must at the time of submitting its Detailed Proposal:

  • be a legal entity, for example:
  • an individual.
  • a trustee of a trust.
  • a company.
  • a partnership where each of the partners are legal entities.
  • an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation, council, or incorporated association.
  • a government related entity; or
  • an incorporated association or cooperative society; and
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST, if required to be registered by the Australian Tax Office.

If you have any questions regarding your proposed funding contribution and eligibility under the ODR Program, please email odr.partnerships@environment.gov.au 

11. Can I specify funding contingencies in my Detailed Proposal? 

The Guide for Potential Partners When Completing a Detailed Proposal states that if any element of your Detailed Proposal, including proposed additional Co contributions, are contingent or conditional on another event occurring, you should include details of these contingencies in your Detailed Proposal. You should also include the reasons behind the contingency or condition.

Contingent co-contributions can only be considered beyond the required 50 percent ‘secured’ co-contribution for eligibility reasons, as noted above.

For example, if the proposed Co-contribution is contingent on formalising a funding agreement with a third-party, please ensure this is included in your Detailed Proposal Form.

 12. What is the role of the National Parks Conservation Trust?

The National Parks Conservation Trust is a registered charity which supports new conservation initiatives in and around Commonwealth reserves, including Australian Marine Parks. In this Program, the National Parks Conservation Trust. is working with the DNP to assist in securing co-investment towards Parks Proposals.

More information about Parks Trust is available at parkstrust.org.au.

13. When will the DNP consider my Partner Proposal or contribution towards a Parks Proposal?

The DNP will assess Detailed Proposals and EOI Responses in order of receipt, as determined by the DNP.

14. Who can I partner with?

Subject to final approval by the DNP:

  • you can partner directly with the DNP to provide financial or in-kind co-contributions or
  • you can partner with the National Parks Conservation Trust. to provide financial Co-investment.  

15. What is the closing date for applications?

The Partnership Call will remain open until one of the following occurs:

  • All available funding has been committed
  • The DNP considers that the Program Outcomes have been met; or
  • The Program is no longer required.

Detailed Proposals (for a Partner Proposal) and Requests for Information and EOI Responses (for a Parks Proposal) can be submitted at any time until the Program has ended.

The DNP will publish Approved Projects and the funds committed by the DNP to that Approved Project, and the total available funding from the DNP for remaining potential projects at parksaustralia.gov.au/marine/ODRpartnerships

16. What if my Partner Proposal is related to an application, I have previously had funded through another DNP program, or related to an application I have submitted for funding via another DNP program?

The Guide for Submitting a Partner Proposal (the Guide) provides that your application will be assessed based on a range of criteria, including whether it constitutes an ‘Efficient Use’ of government funds.

The Guide provides that in assessing this criterion, the DNP may consider whether the Detailed Proposal replicates or overlaps with:

  • another Project that has been approved but not yet published; or
  • a project that is being funded through another DNP program, procurement, or process.

If the DNP considers the Detailed Proposal replicates or overlaps with another Project (in this Program) or another project funded through another DNP program, procurement or process, the DNP may determine that the Detailed Proposal will not achieve value for money.

17. Warranties and Declaration – What if I am unable to complete this section prior to submitting my proposal? 

If you are unable to sign the warranty and declaration on behalf of all parties to the partnership at Section L in the Detailed Proposal form, you are still able to submit your proposal. However, please ensure that relevant warranties and declarations are included elsewhere in your Detailed Proposal as appropriate. Please get in touch with the ODR Team via email odr.partnerships@environment.gov.au if you have any questions.