Regional Tourism Activation Fund Round 2 - Frequently Asked Questions

The following frequently asked questions have been created to assist in applying for grants under the Regional Tourism Activation Fund Round 2.

What is the Regional Tourism Activation Fund?

The NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund supports the development of high impact tourism infrastructure projects that increase visitation, expenditure and extend the length of visitor stays in regional NSW.

Round One of the Fund was delivered in 2021 and provided up to $30 million to support the development of over 30 tourism infrastructure projects.

Round 2 will provide up to $150 million for high impact tourism infrastructure projects that have the potential to become iconic visitor experiences for regional NSW.

How much funding is available?

The NSW Government has committed $150 million to Round 2 of the Regional Tourism Activation Fund as part of the $3.3 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Applications for funding can be for a minimum of $500,000 up to a maximum of $20 million.

What types of projects can access funding support?

Examples of eligible project types include nature-based tourism projects, and arts, culture and events infrastructure such as:

  • iconic walking and hiking trails
  • aquatic and coastal projects such as over-water walkways and major viewing platforms
  • adventure cycling such as mountain bike and BMX trails
  • adventure trails that cover land and water experiences
  • Aboriginal tourism experiences
  • major arts infrastructure
  • cultural experiences including history and heritage projects
  • major event and festival infrastructure
  • major conference centre facilities.
Who can apply for funding?

Applications are open to local councils, Joint Organisations of councils, incorporated not-for-profit organisations, community organisations registered as incorporated associations, Local Aboriginal Land Councils, and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporations registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006. 

Applicants must be financially solvent, an incorporated entity and hold an Australian Business Number (ABN), Australian Company Number (ACN) or be registered with NSW Fair Trading under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 or another Act. Unincorporated organisations are ineligible to apply.

Can I submit more than one application for multiple projects?

Yes, applicants can submit multiple applications but must submit only one project per application.

Are private businesses eligible to apply for this funding?

No, private businesses that operate for profit are not eligible to apply, however eligible applicants are encouraged to work with private operators and industry organisations to identify potential partnership projects that can demonstrate clear public benefit and to submit an application.

For example, a local council could partner with a local tourism business to develop a project that would be delivered in partnership, and the local council would lead the application.  

The lead applicant, if successful, will be solely responsible for the delivery of the project and must be willing to adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in the Funding Deed.

Can the funding be used to develop a business case for a project that will be developed in the future?

No, the funding must be used for the development of high impact tourism infrastructure projects. Applicants seeking to develop a business case and/or strategy are encouraged to consider the NSW Government’s Business Case and Strategy Development Fund. Applications opened on 29 June 2022 and are scheduled to close on 24 August 2022. 

Do I need to make a co-contribution to apply for this funding?

Applications are required to have a financial co-contribution of at least 25 per cent of the total grant amount.

Co-contributions must be cash and cannot be made in-kind, and evidence of the cash co-contributions must be provided as part of the application.

I am unable to provide the required co-contribution due to extenuating circumstances. Am I eligible to apply for this funding?

Applicants can indicate as part of their application that there are extenuating circumstances preventing them from making the required co-contribution. This information could include the applicant’s current financial situation and a detailed explanation as to why the applicant is unable to provide the required co-contribution.

Applicants that indicate there are extenuating circumstances relating to their co-contribution are encouraged to provide a level of co-contribution that is within their financial means, and evidence to indicate that the project can be managed and maintained in the future. 

The information provided by the applicant relating to the extenuating circumstances will be considered as part of the assessment process and a decision on the eligibility of the application will be made by the Assessment Panel.

Can I use funding previously received from the NSW Government towards my co-contribution?

No, co-contributions towards projects cannot be made using funding received from the NSW Government, with the exception of co-contributions towards projects that are proposed to be developed and delivered in partnership with a NSW Government agency such as NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service or Forestry Corporation of NSW. 

For example:

  • a project led by a local council cannot use funding received through a previous NSW Government grant program towards their co-contribution
  • a project that is led by an eligible entity and is proposed to be developed and delivered in partnership with a NSW Government agency can use NSW Government funding provided by the partner agency towards the co-contribution.

Projects that maximise investment from the applicant, the Australian Government and/or other industry contributions will be preferred.

Can the funding be used for promotions and marketing of the project after it is completed?

No, the funding must be specific to the development of the infrastructure and the project needs to be operated and maintained without the need for additional funding from the NSW Government once construction is complete. A list of ineligible project types and costs is provided within the Program Guidelines (PDF 3.85MB).

How do I demonstrate that my project will be a high impact tourism experience?

The impact of the project will be assessed through visitation forecasts that estimate the increases in daytrip, overnight, interstate and international visitors over a five-year period following the completion of the project. Applicants will be required to provide five-year visitation forecasts as part of the application form and within the datasheet that is provided as a template for all applications. 

The visitation forecasts can be validated within letters of support from stakeholders such as the relevant Destination Network and/or local tourism organisation.

I am applying for over $5 million in funding and therefore I am required to provide a business case as part of my application. Do you provide a template for the business case?

Yes, applications requesting over $5 million are encouraged to use the business case template provided or can submit a business case in their own format if it addresses the key topics and focus areas outlined in the template.

How do I ensure that my project will be accessible and inclusive for everyone?

Projects that go above and beyond the baseline compliance standards and enable people with disability and accessibility requirements to participate independently with equity and dignity will be preferred.

Applicants are encouraged to utilise universal design principles within their project design and to demonstrate their commitment to accessibility and inclusion as a key part of their application.

Where can I find the Disability Inclusion Action Plan relevant to my local area?

View a register of the Disability Inclusion Action Plans (DIAP) developed for Local Government Areas (LGAs) across NSW.

Note that the DIAP for some LGAs may have expired in 2021 and is in the process of being updated. Where the DIAP is being updated, it is sufficient for the purpose of your application to use the available document.

The DIAP for your area may lay out specific actions for your local council that are not immediately related to your project. In these circumstances, applicants are encouraged to align their projects to the strategic goals and objectives outlined in the DIAP.

What is the deadline to submit my application and when will I find out the outcome?

The program opens for applications on Tuesday, 2 August 2022 and closes at 5pm on Tuesday, 27 September 2022. 

Successful projects will be notified confidentially from November 2022 or as soon as possible after a grant is approved, at the NSW Government’s discretion. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application and will be offered a feedback session.

When does my project need to be completed by?

Applicants must demonstrate that the project can be completed by 30 June 2026 by providing a detailed scope of works, key milestones and previous project management experience and the credentials of key personnel.

Can I apply if I haven’t yet received development approval for my project?

Applications for projects that require development approval must demonstrate that the approval can be secured within 6 months of being notified of the outcome if it is not already secured at the time of making the application.

Can the project be located on privately owned land?

Projects can be located on publicly owned land or on private land where there is a clear public benefit. 

If the applicant is not the owner of the land where the project will be located, landowner’s consent and access agreements will be required as part of the application.

Is there support available during the application process?

Yes, a range of resources are available on this webpage and staff from the Department of Regional NSW are available to provide support during the application process. Please contact or call 1300 679 673 for a referral to your local Business Development Manager for support during the application process.

The Department of Regional NSW will host an online information session during the period when applications are open. The online information session will be recorded and made available to view on demand.

Should I consult with the Destination Network and/or the local tourism organisation during the development of my application?

Yes, applicants are encouraged to consult with their Destination Network and other local stakeholders and can include letters of support with their applications.

View the contact details and more information for the Destination Network in your region

How do I know if my project is located within the eligible local government areas?

Projects must be located in one or more of the 93 regional NSW Local Government Areas (LGAs), the Unincorporated Far West or Lord Howe Island. Projects located in the Greater Sydney metropolitan area, and the Newcastle and Wollongong LGAs are ineligible for funding. 

Projects located in one or more of the following LGAs are eligible to apply:

  • Albury City Council
  • Armidale Regional Council
  • Ballina Shire Council
  • Balranald Shire Council
  • Bathurst Regional Council
  • Bega Valley Shire Council
  • Bellingen Shire Council
  • Berrigan Shire Council
  • Bland Shire Council
  • Blayney Shire Council
  • Bogan Shire Council
  • Bourke Shire Council
  • Brewarrina Shire Council
  • Broken Hill City Council
  • Byron Shire Council
  • Cabonne Council
  • Carrathool Shire Council
  • Central Coast Council
  • Central Darling Shire Council
  • Cessnock City Council
  • Clarence Valley Council
  • Cobar Shire Council
  • Coffs Harbour City Council
  • Coolamon Shire Council
  • Coonamble Shire Council
  • Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council
  • Cowra Shire Council
  • Dubbo Regional Council
  • Dungog Shire Council
  • Edward River Council
  • Eurobodalla Shire Council
  • Federation Council
  • Forbes Shire Council
  • Gilgandra Shire Council
  • Glen Innes Severn Council
  • Goulburn Mulwaree Council
  • Greater Hume Shire Council
  • Griffith City Council
  • Gunnedah Shire Council
  • Gwydir Shire Council
  • Hay Shire Council
  • Hilltops Council
  • Inverell Shire Council
  • Junee Shire Council
  • Kempsey Shire Council
  • Kiama Municipal Council
  • Kyogle Council
  • Lachlan Shire Council
  • Lake Macquarie City Council
  • Leeton Shire Council
  • Lismore City Council
  • Lithgow City Council
  • Liverpool Plains Shire Council
  • Lockhart Shire Council
  • Maitland City Council
  • Mid-Coast Council
  • Mid-Western Regional Council
  • Moree Plains Shire Council
  • Murray River Council
  • Murrumbidgee Council
  • Muswellbrook Shire Council
  • Nambucca Valley Council
  • Narrabri Shire Council
  • Narrandera Shire Council
  • Narromine Shire Council
  • Oberon Council
  • Orange City Council
  • Parkes Shire Council
  • Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
  • Port Stephens Council
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council
  • Richmond Valley Council
  • Shellharbour City Council
  • Shoalhaven City Council
  • Singleton Council
  • Snowy Monaro Regional Council
  • Snowy Valleys Council
  • Tamworth Regional Council
  • Temora Shire Council
  • Tenterfield Shire Council
  • Tweed Shire Council
  • Upper Hunter Shire Council
  • Upper Lachlan Shire Council
  • Uralla Shire Council
  • Wagga Wagga City Council
  • Walcha Council
  • Walgett Shire Council
  • Warren Shire Council
  • Warrumbungle Shire Council
  • Weddin Shire Council
  • Wentworth Shire Council
  • Wingecarribee Shire Council
  • Yass Valley Council
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