Guide to preparing your work plan

Coastal, estuary and floodplain management grants

Work plans are designed to help manage your project and should align with the work program developed by your tendered contractor. They help us to identify upcoming payments, monitor the achievement of deliverables, and identify when funding becomes available to activate projects from reserve lists. This guide should be read in conjunction with the sample work plans provided on our website at coastal and estuary grants or flood grants.

Elements of a work plan

Milestones: are significant stages of a project to which payments are linked. Each milestone must include at least one costed activity to ensure payments can be made. You will be required to submit a milestone report and expenditure certificate to claim each linked payment. A project would generally have two to six milestones over its life.

Examples of milestones include: data collection and review; public consultation; and draft report.

Activities: describe what you will do to achieve a milestone. Please note that some core activities are ineligible for funding, including: preparing study briefs; reviewing proposals and tenders, attending meetings; contract administration; and accounting costs (a full list is provided under the definition of ‘Recipient’s core activities’ in the dictionary attached to your funding agreement).

Examples of activities include: acquisition of data; literature review; environmental assessment; identify management options; public exhibition of draft report; and revegetation activities.

Outputs: are products or services delivered as a direct result of the activities undertaken. You will need to demonstrate that you have achieved these outputs in order to receive a payment, so make sure they are easy to measure and/or validate.

Examples of outputs include: research papers; number of community meetings held/submissions assessed; flood behaviour defined/mapped; and number of cubic metres of weeds removed.

Projected milestone completion dates: are used to track project progress and manage the Programs’ budgets. You should be realistic about the timeframe you set for each activity and milestone. If you are unlikely to meet a milestone within two months of the projected milestone completion date, you will need to submit a revised work plan.

You may therefore wish to factor in a buffer period of at least two months between your projected milestone completion date and the projected due date of the last activity for that milestone. This will reduce the need to update the work plan if your project is delayed.

You should also check that:

  • there is only one projected milestone completion date per milestone
  • the last projected milestone completion date must be no later than the project completion date noted on page 1 of your funding agreement
  • there are at least two milestones over the life of the project.

Total estimated milestone cost: is the total estimated cost for delivering a milestone, including your contribution, any partner contribution, and the Government grant, but should exclude GST.

Estimated milestone payment amount: is the proportion of the Government grant dedicated to that milestone. This amount cannot exceed the funding level/funding ratio (noted on page 1 of your funding agreement) of the estimated milestone cost (see examples below). The total of all the milestone payment amounts cannot exceed the maximum funding amount.


milestone cost

Funding ratio /

Funding level

Maximum grant

milestone payment

$60,000 50% $30,000
$60,000 2:1 $40,000

Final report: outlines the achievements of the project and financial acquittal. It is not a milestone but must be lodged within two months of the project completion date and must be signed by the General Manager or Chief Financial Officer. The final report completion date noted in the work plan must be within two months of the projected completion date for the last milestone.

Page last updated: 19 October 2017