Cash up for grabs for 'disadvantaged regions'

REGIONAL councils, state governments and other groups can now get their hands on the first round of the Abbott government's $1 billion stronger regions fund grants.

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss launched the grants round in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, on Tuesday, with grants open for projects valued between $20,000 and $10 million.

The only clincher for applicants will be that the grant only comes to 50% of the total cost of the project to be funded.

Mr Truss said the funds would be focussed on the nation's most "disadvantaged regions", on anything from freight and transport projects to sports centres and other community buildings.

Despite a $1 billion hit to increases in payments for councils announced in the May budget, the grants were a key election promise from the government.