Skip to content


Local Industry Fund for Transition

Create sustainable jobs and contribute to the economic development of the local areas most impacted by the closure of the major car manufacturers.

Program Overview

The Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) is part of the Victorian Government’s Towards Future Industries: Victoria’s Automotive Transition Plan, which aims to support workers, communities and businesses affected by the closure of large scale passenger manufacturing in the State. LIFT aims to create sustainable jobs and contribute to the economic development of Melbourne's North, West and South-East and the Geelong Region. This will be achieved through supporting capital investment by businesses located, or wishing to locate, operations in these areas to build each region’s economic base and create sustainable jobs.

Up to $2 million is available to support job creating projects in Melbourne's North, West and South-East and the Geelong Region.  

At a glance

Potential funding

Grants of up to 25 per cent of eligible project expenditure, with a maximum grant of $2 million.



Eligibility

To be eligible for assistance, applicants must have the following:

  • an Australian Company Number (ACN)
  • an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • financial capacity to meet the co-contribution requirement ($3 for every $1 granted)
  • financial reports for the last three financial years to enable the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (the Department) to conduct a financial risk assessment (FRA).

More eligibility critieria

Am I eligible?

Businesses of all sizes are eligible to apply and joint applications are acceptable, provided there is a lead applicant that is both the primary project proponent and an eligible applicant. Where a project involves two or more businesses, the lead applicant should submit the application and will be subject to a FRA.  All participating businesses will be subject to probity checks.

The following are not eligible to apply:

  • individuals, partnerships, or trusts, however an incorporated trustee can apply on behalf of a trust provided that the State is satisfied that the incorporated trustee will remain sufficiently liable for the performance or any agreement it signs
  • Commonwealth, State and Local Government agencies and bodies
  • publicly funded research institutions
  • not-for-profit organisations
  • community-based organisations.
Projects with total eligible expenditure of less than $200,000 will not be considered for this program. For more eligibility criteria please read the LIFT Program Guidelines (PDF 91.33 KB)PDF icon. Projects must not involve the movement of business activity from other areas of Victoria. 

What you need to do before applying 

Please ensure you have read the Program Guidelines and understand the program requirements before submitting a response.

Applicants are also expected to adhere to the following:

Skills and Job Centres/Auto Skills Australia

Applicants will be expected to work with the Skills and Job Centres and Auto Skills Australia to implement strategies that maximise the number of retrenched automotive workers that will transition to their project prior to submitting applications. Applicants to LIFT-Geelong will also need to consider workers retrenched due to the closure of Alcoa’s Point Henry and Anglesea operations.

Skills and Job Centres and Auto Skills Australia must be contacted to discuss business requirements and match skill sets regarding the potential project's creation of new jobs. Attached is a list of the Skills and Job Centres locations (DOCX 31.92 KB)DOCX icon and further detail is provided on the Skills and Job Centres website and Auto Skills Australia.

Contact Auto Skills Australia

Please contact Vince Panozzo for more information:

Phone:(03) 8610 2510

Mobile: 0417 393 158

Email: vpanozzo@autoskillsaustralia.com.au 

Victorian Industry Participation Policy

Successful applicants will be required to adhere to the Victorian Government’s Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP) where the amount of the grant awarded is:

  • $3 million or more for a Project in Metropolitan Melbourne or State Wide; or
  • $1 million or more for a Project in Rural and Regional Victoria.
This will require working with the Industry Capability Network to consider opportunities for competitive local suppliers in delivering LIFT projects.  Refer to the VIPP website for further information.

What you get

LIFT will support capital investment by local firms or by businesses wishing to set-up or expand operations in the communities most affected by the closure of the major car manufacturers.

LIFT comprises four sub-funds covering the geographical areas of:

  • LIFT Geelong – Local Government Areas of Colac-Otway, Golden Plains, Greater Geelong, Queenscliff and Surf Coast
  • LIFT Melbourne’s North – Local Government Areas of Darebin, Hume, Moreland and Whittlesea
  • LIFT Melbourne’s South East – Local Government Areas of Greater Dandenong, Kingston, Casey, Frankston, Knox, Monash, Whitehorse, Maroondah, Cardinia and Yarra Ranges
  • LIFT Melbourne’s West – Local Government Areas of Wyndham, Melton, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Brimbank and Moonee Valley
LIFT replaces and builds on the former Geelong Region and Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Funds.

Proposed projects will be assessed against the following merit criteria:

  • level of job creation
  • level of net economic benefit
  • demonstrated skills, experience and resources available to the business to successfully undertake the project
  • sustainability of the project and need for Government support.

Preference will be given to projects that create jobs for local workers facing retrenchment due to the closure of automotive manufacturing operations. In the case of LIFT-Geelong, preference will also be given to projects that create jobs for workers retrenched due to the closure of Alcoa’s Point Henry and Angelsea operations.

Applicants will need to outline the expected returns from the investment, including jobs and other economic benefits. Projects with total eligible expenditure of less than $200,000 will not be considered for this program.

Up to $2 million is available to support job creating projects in Melbourne's North, West and South-East and the Geelong Region. The minimum grant amount is $50,000. 

Tips and hints 

Funding will only be provided to meet a successful applicant’s eligible expenditure on the approved project.   

Eligible project expenditure may include: 
  • direct labour costs incurred on employees directly employed on implementing and/or commissioning the agreed project
  • purchase of equipment or machinery to assist business establishment or expansion (including for example, second hand or repurposed automotive manufacturing equipment)
  • construction or fit-out of a new building or extension to existing premises
  • associated project management costs.
Applicants must meet the co-contribution requirement with expenditure on eligible project activities. In-kind contributions are excluded (i.e. non-monetary resources). Projects with total eligible expenditure of less than $200,000 will not be considered for this program.

Project funding can only be used to employ the following categories of people: permanent resident of Australia, citizen of Australia or New Zealand, or spouse of an Australian permanent resident or citizen (e.g. visa subclass 300, 309). Project activities are to be completed within 18 months of the date of the Grant Agreement.

How to apply

Potential applicants are encouraged to consider carefully their ability to meet the program requirements and how they will perform against the assessment criteria before committing significant resources to developing an application. To find out more about the key selection criteria and how to apply refer to the Program Guidelines and Factsheet. Applications are assessed against the key selection criteria.

Read the below documents before applying.  

Download our LIFT Program Guidelines (PDF 91.33 KB)PDF icon

Accessible guidelines: LIFT Program Guidelines (DOCX 67.68 KB)DOCX icon

Read the LIFT Geelong Factsheet: Fact Sheet - LIFT-Geelong (PDF 197.53 KB)PDF icon

Read the LIFT Melbourne’s North Factsheet: Fact Sheet - LIFT-Melbourne's North (PDF 197.55 KB)PDF icon

Read the LIFT Melbourne’s South East Factsheet: Fact Sheet - LIFT-Melbourne's South-East (PDF 197.65 KB)PDF icon

Read the LIFT Melbourne’s West Factsheet: Fact Sheet - LIFT-Melbourne's West (PDF 2645.15 KB)PDF icon 

Download and use our LIFT Project Implementation Plan Template: LIFT Project Implementation Plan Template (DOCX 87.58 KB)DOCX icon 

Read the LIFT Frequently Asked Questions: Local Industry Fund for Transition FAQs (PDF 134.81 KB)PDF icon 

Read the accessible LIFT Frequently Asked Questions: Local Industry Fund for Transition FAQs (DOCX 143.96 KB)DOCX icon

Download the Funding Agreement Template:  LIFT Funding Agreement Template (PDF 724.15 KB)PDF icon

More details

For more information about LIFT Geelong, please call (03) 5215 6000. 

Application process

There is a two-stage application process:

  • Expression of interest (EOI), followed by 
  • an invitation by the Department to submit a formal application.

EOIs can be submitted at any time. Apply for an EOI using the buttons below. 

To get the best results, get in touch with the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15

Email us or contact your local Victorian Government business representative.

Close quick view window