Trail Planning Grants Program


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Trail Development Process 


With the increasing demand for trails across Western Australia, it is important that a high standard of trail development is maintained. The State Government supports trails initiatives through the planning and construction of sustainable trails.

The Trail Development Process (TDP) presents a guide to ensuring a high standard of planning and construction in Western Australian trail developments. The TDP is found in the Trail Development Series as Part A and consists of eight stages (it is sometimes referred to as the eight-stage process).

The vision of the TDP is:

Sustainable trails mean developing the right trails, in the right places, the right way and for the right reasons.

The TDP provides protocols and procedures which ensure that trails are a fit for purpose, sustainable asset. The TDP is made up of eight stages: 

  1. Trail Proposal: A trail development proposal is either supported in principle by the land manager/owner, or not supported (due to environmental, social, cultural or other constraints). The purpose of a proposal could be to identify potential suitable areas for consideration. 
  2. Framework: A project outline developed by the steering group (stakeholders), including project objectives, project management model, stakeholders, roles, target market, requirements, execution, and ongoing management model.
  3. Site Assessment: Broad-scale study of the area and identification of opportunities, constraints, and characteristics such as soil types, vegetation etc.
  4. Concept Planning: Identification of opportunities and conceptual trail plan, including broad trail corridors and infrastructure requirements.
  5. Corridor Evaluation: Detailed assessment of trail corridors for use in determining the final trail alignment.
  6. Detailed Design: Detailed trail design and alignments physically flagged in the field. Includes detail on the trail classifications, technical trail features (TTFs), construction methods and specifications.
  7. Construction Trail: Constructed in line with the Detailed Design.
  8. Management: Management plan implemented detailing maintenance and monitoring requirements. Trails help protect, interpret, conserve and raise awareness of environmental, cultural and heritage values.  

The Trail Planning Grants Program has been designed to support the principles of the TDP by providing financial support to organisations that adopt and implement the standardised methodology of the eight-stage TDP.  

Trail Planning Grants Program Information

About the program

The purpose of the Trail Planning Grants Program is to ensure trail developments across the state are well informed, substantiated and supported by a consistent planning approach as outlined in the TDP of the Trail Development Series (Part A).

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) is seeking applications from organisations for projects that support the progression of trail planning through a logical and consistent framework. 

The program is aimed at local governments or incorporated organisations that have established strategic support for a trail development and are ready to commence a specific stage/s in the TDP. The process can also be applied to trails master planning for specific geographical areas including regional, sub-regional and joint local government areas.

Outcome and objectives

The outcome of the Trail Planning Grants Program is that:

  • Western Australia has a consistent and high standard of planning in all trail developments state-wide.

The objectives of the Trail Planning Grants Program are to:

  • Develop high-quality trails that are informed by state and local endorsed planning frameworks. 
  • Provide support to trail developments that incorporate best practice community consultation and support processes.
  • Provide support to trail developments that incorporate best practice planning using the eight-stage Trail Development Process.


The following organisations are eligible to apply:

  • Local government authorities (LGAs).
  • Local active recreation clubs and associations.
  • Community organisations.

To be eligible for funding, organisations must:

  • be incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 (WA) or a company limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001 or an indigenous organisation under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 or be registered as a Local Government Entity in Western Australia;
  • possess an Australian Business Number (ABN); and
  • maintain appropriate and sufficient insurance cover for the duration of the project. A certificate of currency of insurance for the coming year should be provided upon application. Please note, for Public Liability Insurance, a minimum value of $10 million per claim or occurrence giving rise to a claim is required.

In addition, the following will apply:

  • Organisations must commit to ensuring a COVID-19 safe environment and complying with all relevant regulations; and
  • Organisations with outstanding acquittals for any DLGSC grant may have payments withheld until outstanding acquittal documentation is satisfactorily completed. 

Ineligible organisations

  • State and Commonwealth government agencies.
  • Unincorporated not-for-profit organisations.
  • Commercial or for-profit organisations.
  • Educational institutions/agencies including schools, universities, and TAFE colleges.

Trail Planning Grants Program Investment Framework

  • The Trail Planning Grants Program is an application-based program with funding allocated to support the scope and scale of trail planning projects.
  • The program is an open and competitive grants program with applications assessed against the assessment criteria and ranked based on the merits of proposals.
  • Organisations are able to apply for between $5,000 and $25,000.
  • Projects must be delivered from 1 June 2023 and conclude by 31 December 2024.
  • Organisations must make a co-contribution of financial and/or in-kind support to the value of at least 50% of the total project costs.
  • Grants should not constitute the entire financial base of an organisation.
  • Auspice arrangements are not accepted.

Funding can be used for

  • Consultant fees.
  • Presenter fees associated with delivery of training and workshops and Aboriginal cultural engagement activities.
  • Venue and equipment hire (not owned or occupied by applicant).
  • Interstate and Intrastate travel and accommodation costs related to the development of the trail plan, up to 20% of the total project budget (for example, consultant travel to regional locations from Perth).
  • Transport costs (for example, car hire for site assessment).
  • Advertising, publicity, promotion, marketing, printing and publishing costs.
  • Provision of interpreting and translating services.

Funding cannot be used for

  • Planning of projects on privately owned land.
  • Existing, ongoing or recurrent organisational costs (for example, employee salaries and employment costs, insurance, lease or rental payments, administration expenses).
  • Projects that would be more appropriately supported through an alternative funding source or existing DLGSC grants program.
  • Projects undertaken outside Western Australia.
  • Projects that have already been funded by DLGSC, unless it expands the reach (for example, completing stages five and six of a project that had previously acquitted a grant for stages one to four of the TDP).
  • Programs that have already taken place or have commenced.
  • Capital works (for example, purchase of land or buildings, repairs, extensions, renovations, maintenance or trail construction).
  • Purchase of capital equipment (for example, computers, photocopiers and vehicles).
  • Purchase of merchandise or equipment (for example, clothing, uniforms, navigation equipment, safety equipment, water bottles).
  • Trophies, prize money or gifts.
  • Hospitality functions (for example, catering, alcohol, entertainment).

How to apply

Application information

  • Read and understand the grant guidelines before commencing the application process.
  • Read and familiarise yourself with Part A of the WA Trail Development Series and the WA Strategic Trails Blueprint before applying.
  • Discuss your project with a DLGSC Trails Team member before applying and request an application form (refer to further information for contact details).
  • Only one application per organisation will be considered.
  • Late applications will not be accepted.
  • Incomplete applications may be considered unsuccessful upon submission.
  • Complete all sections of the application form and submit with the following supporting documentation:
    • A copy of your organisation’s incorporation certificate (if not already provided to DLGSC).
    • A copy of current public liability insurance certificate (minimum required is $10 million) (if not already provided to DLGSC).
    • Letters of support from active partners.
    • Existing plans, strategies and/or master plans.
    • Any proposal/scope of works relating to the project.

Submit your application form and supporting documentation to by 5pm on Monday 27 February 2023.

Funding rounds

Round Open Draft review Close Project start/event dates Category
January 2023 12:00am 30 January 2023 Not applicable 5:00pm 27 February 2023 1 June 2023 to 31 December 2024. Indicative notification date 28 April 2023. Trail Planning Grants Program

Assessment, approval and acquittal process

Assessment and approval process

  • The DLGSC Grants Administrators will assess applications for compliance with the eligibility criteria. 
  • The DLGSC Grants Assessors will conduct a preliminary assessment of eligible applications against the assessment criteria and provide a summary, which may include scores, rankings, funding allocations and rationale, for the assessment panel to consider. 
  • A panel will be formed to conduct an independent review of the assessment process, the preliminary assessment information and ratify recommended applicants to be submitted to the DLGSC Director General for endorsement.
  • The panel will comprise two independent DLGSC staff and one independent external assessor with trail planning expertise. 
  • The DLGSC Director General to endorse the recommended applicants and submit to the Minister for Sport and Recreation for approval. 
  • The Minister for Sport and Recreation to approve the recommended applicants as per the relevant funding source legislation. 
  • Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing. 
  • Applicants may not be successful and may not be funded to the full amount requested.

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. Strategic alignment and planning
    The application demonstrates that the project is aligned to the WA Strategic Trails Blueprint and other local, regional and/or state plans.
  2. Consultation and stakeholder support
    The application demonstrates a well-planned consultation process and stakeholder support including the following:
    • Community and stakeholder consultation methodologies that are appropriate to the scope, scale and complexity of the project.
    • Support and/or approval from land managers and/or local government that are appropriate to the scope, scale and complexity of the project.
    • Ensure that appropriate consideration is given to Aboriginal heritage, enterprise and interpretation.
  3. Organisational capacity and capability
    The organisation demonstrates its capacity and capability to deliver the project and manage identified risks. 
  4. Project Plan and Budget
    The application includes a detailed outline of the project. It is based on a realistic budget and represents value for money.

Each assessment criteria are weighted equally.

Conditions of funding agreements

  • If your organisation has an ABN and is registered for Good and Services Tax (GST), the grant will be grossed up by 10% of the grant amount.
  • If your organisation has an ABN and is not registered for GST, no GST will be paid.

Grant agreement

  • Approved applicants will be required to enter into a grant agreement that outlines the grant conditions, key deliverables, and acquittal requirements. Once signed and returned, the grant will be paid directly to the eligible applicant body.
  • Successful organisations will be required to provide evidence of key deliverables prior to conducting the project including, but not limited to, an appropriate risk assessment process has been undertaken, support for the project has been confirmed by key stakeholders (e.g., land managers) and statutory approvals have been obtained.
  • No grant monies will be paid to an individual.

Acquittal requirements

  • At the completion of the project, your organisation will need to complete an acquittal report to demonstrate that the funding has been spent in accordance with the grant agreement.
  • Your acquittal report must be submitted within 30 days of the project completion date as specified in the grant agreement.

DLGSC acknowledgement and evaluation

  • Successful organisations will be required to acknowledge DLGSC. Further details will be provided to successful applicants within their grant agreement.
  • Successful organisations will be required to participate in any research and/or evaluations relating to this funding and/or funded projects.

Further information

Orazio Santalucia
Senior Project Officer
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
Telephone 61 8 9492 9902
PO Box 8349, Perth Business Centre WA 6849
246 Vincent Street, Leederville WA 6007

Page reviewed 25 January 2023