The Australian Government offers a variety of grants to help you achieve your goals and become financially independent—from the first home owners scheme to small business funding.
JobKeeper and JobSeeker, introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to support Australians while they were out of work, have attracted intense media attention. But they are far from the only grants available.
Whatever your goal—be it buying your first home, boosting your small business or studying—there may be a grant to help support you, so it’s worth doing your research and seeing if any are suitable and if you are eligible.
First home owner grants
Real estate prices can be prohibitive for those new to home ownership, but the good news is that there’s help in every state and territory—through the provision of first home owner grants. The amount of money available varies, ranging from $10,000 in New South Wales to $20,000 in Tasmania.
To be eligible, you must meet the first home owner grants criteria. For example, you should plan to live in your new home for at least 12 months, and you must not have owned or co-owned a residence before.
HomeBuilder grants for builders and renovators
Thinking of building or renovating? In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has introduced HomeBuilder, which provides $25,000 towards the construction of a new home or the renovation of an existing home, for contracts beginning between 4 June and 31 December 2020.
To apply as an individual, you must have earned a taxable income of $125,000 or less in FY2018-19, while, for couples, the cap is $200,000. For new builds, the property value must be worth no more than $750,000. For renovations, the contract must be worth $150,000-750,000, and the home less than $1.5 million.
Grants for small businesses and start-ups
Small businesses were the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and, in recognition, the Australian Government has offered new grants, while continuing and increasing existing ones. Among them are:
- The Export Assistance Grant, which provides businesses with $10,000 for export-related costs, including promotion, market research, protection, e-commerce and trade missions;
- Accelerating Commercialisation, which matches up to $1 million in costs related to the commercialisation of a new product, process or service; and
- The Research and Development Tax Incentive, which enables businesses that turn over $20 million or less per year, to claim a 43.% tax offset on up to $100 million worth of research and development.
Education and training grants
Whether you want to expand your skillset or make a career change, there are plenty of education and training grants to help.
The primary financial support available to full-time students is Austudy, which provides ongoing, fortnightly payments.
Beyond that, there are more than 3,000 scholarships available across Australia. If you’re interested in undertaking research, via a Masters or PhD, then you might be eligible for the Australian Government Research Training Program, which pays $28,092 per year.
Managing your finances
Ideally, a grant provides a helping hand that moves you along the road to financial independence. It’s important to keep the rest of your financial picture in mind, including putting the right protections in place, such as income protection, which can keep you covered, if, due to an accident or illness, you’re temporarily unable to work.