Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund

Published 31st August, 2017

The $300 million Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund invests in infrastructure to increase tourist visitation to regional NSW and create jobs. 

Established under the NSW Government’s Rebuilding NSW Program, the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund (RGETF) aims to increase tourist visitation by investing in regional environment and tourism infrastructure, particularly focusing on assets that will grow and further diversify NSW regional economies.

We have committed $300 million to the RGETF, with up to $100 million available in the first round of funding.

Expressions of Interest

Expressions of Interest closed on 20 April 2017.

Expressions of Interest for funding were invited from government, local councils, Aboriginal Land Councils and other Aboriginal groups, community groups and non-government organisations.

Shortlisted projects

Applications closed on 20 April 2017. The following projects have been shortlisted. 

Project name ApplicantRegion
Central Coast Marine Discovery and "Wonders of the Wreck"  Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre  Central Coast
Black and Grey Water Disposal Points  Campervan & Motorhome Club of Ausltralia Limited (CMCA) Hunter
InHabitat Lakeside Lake Cowal Foundation Limited Riverina - Murray
Zoofarie Lodge Redevelopment and Expansion - Enhancing a world class wildlife safari adventure in the heart of Regional NSW Taronga Western Plains Zoo / Taronga Conservation Society Australia Central West and Orana
Kiama Arts  Kiama Council Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Murwillumbah Art Precinct Tweed Shire Council North Coast
Jervis Bay Artificial Reef  NSW Department of Primary Industries  Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Thredbo Valley Track Extension Office of Environment and Heritage - NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service South East and Tablelands
Kosciusko Snowies Iconic Great Walk  Office of Environment and Heritage - NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service South East and Tablelands
Jervis Bay Regional Boat Maintnance Facility  Shoalhaven City Council Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse Revitalisation Tweed Shire Council North Coast
Ballina Coastal Recreational Walk Ballina Shire Council  North Coast
Round the Bay Walk Improvements (Moona Moona Creel Shared Pedestrian Bridge, Callala Headland Reserve Path & Wayfinding Signage) Shoalhaven City Council Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Port Macquarie Coastal Walk Upgrade  Port Macquarie - Hastings Council  North Coast
Winney Bay Cliff Top Walk Central Coast Council Central Coast
Proposed Boardwalk – Terrigal Beach to The Haven Central Coast Council Central Coast
Urunga Tidal Pool New South Wales Crown Holiday Parks Trust  North Coast
Stuarts Point Foreshore Revitalisation  Kempsey Shire Council North Coast
Grenwell Point Berthing Facilities  Shoalhaven City Council Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Shoalhaven Heads River Road Foreshore Precinct Shoalhaven City Council Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Bombo Headland Eco Walk Kiama Municipal Council  Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Minnamurra Shared Boardwalk Kiama Municipal Council  Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Big River Dreaming - The Water Weaving Way  Gwydir Shire Council  New England North West
The Mount Panorama Boardwalk Bathurst Regional Council  Central West and Orana
Brunswick Heads Foreshore Public Reserve Upgrades and Improvements  New South Wales Crown Holiday Parks Trust  North Coast
Bundanon Trust's Riversdale Masterplan  Bundanon Trust  Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Lighting Ridge Visitor Information Centre, Council Agency, Conference/Community Centre and Transit Hub Walgett Shire Council Far West
Repurposing of the Saumarez Homestead and its Heritage Listed Farm for Enhanced Regional Tourism Armidale Regional Council (lead proponent) and National Trust of Australia (NSW) New England North West
Wagga Wagga Riverside Precinct Rejuvenation (Stage 2) City of Wagga Wagga  Riverina - Murray
Central West Equestrian and Livestock Centre  Blayney Shire Council Central West and Orana
Murray River Experience (Consolidated) Albury City Council Riverina - Murray
Murray River Experience (Consolidated) Federation Council Riverina - Murray
Murray River Experience (Consolidated) Berrigan Shire Council  Riverina - Murray
Murramarang South Cost Walk - Five Villages Walk  Office of Environment and Heritage - NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service South East and Tablelands
Light to Light Great Walk  Office of Environment and Heritage - NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service South East and Tablelands
Tathra Headland and Wharf Access (THWA) Tathra & District Business Chamber  South East and Tablelands
The Batemans Bay Coastal Headlands Walking Trail Eurobodalla Shire Council  Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Calypso Yamba Holiday Park Redevelopment Clarence Valley Council  North Coast
Port Stephens Koala Hospital and Tourism Facility  Port Stephens Council  Hunter
Scone Aviation Visitor Attraction  Upper Hunter Shire Council  Hunter
Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden Visitor Centre Redevelopment  Friends of Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens  South East and Tablelands
Infrastructure for Implementing the Destination Macquarie Marshes Action Plan (Stage 1) RiverSmart Australia Limited  Central West and Orana
Astronomy/Science Centre, Planetarium and Café Tamworth Regional Council  New England North West
Ettalong Beach Ferry Wharf  Central Coast Council  Central Coast
Woy Woy Town Centre Wharf Central Coast Council Central Coast
Old Main South Coast Road Cycleway South Kiama Kiama Municipal Council  Illawarra - Shoalhaven
Eskbank Wagon Maintenance & Carriage Restoration Facility and Living Museum ( Ekbank Locomotive Depot & Museum) COC Limited  Central West and Orana
Gunnedah Koala Park and Education Centre  Gunnedah Shire Council New England North West
Merimbula Estuary Access Trail Bega Valley Shire Council  South East and Tablelands
Bega Valley Shire - A Destination for All  Bega Valley Shire Council  South East and Tablelands
Lake Jindabyne Shared Trail Construction – delivering a world class 100km trail circling Lake Jindabyne. Snowy Monaro Regional Council South East and Tablelands
Cooma Trail Master Plan  Construction Delivery - Including Murrumbidgee River Trail Link  Snowy Monaro Regional Council South East and Tablelands
Restart Jenolan  Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust  Central West and Orana
Kokoda Trail Walkway  Liverpool Plains Shire Council  New England North West

Frequently asked questions

What is this fund?

This is an exciting new initiative to support regional environment and tourism infrastructure projects that will help to grow and diversify regional economies across the state.

How much money is in the fund?

$300 million has been set aside for the fund, with $100 million available through the first round.

In the first round, which is now open, $100 million is available to support environmental and tourism infrastructure projects that will help grow and diversify regional economies in NSW.

Further funding will be available over the following two years.

Who can apply?

Initial expressions of interest are now being sought from local and state government agencies; Aboriginal Land Councils and other Aboriginal groups; community groups registered as incorporated associations; and non-government organisations.

Can private projects apply?

The fund is for public infrastructure. Examples of private projects that may be eligible include:

  • A public access road to a new attraction
  • A publicly accessible information centre on Aboriginal Land

Projects that are not eligible to apply include those that are for private benefit only. This includes refurbishments of privately owned and operated assets such as hotels and theme parks.

What sort of projects are suitable?

Examples of suitable projects include:

  • new or upgraded visitor infrastructure to national parks
  • new or upgraded camping facilities
  • repurposing of Crown Lands or heritage buildings for tourism
  • development of infrastructure to support ecotourism and new visitor activities.

Where is the money coming from?

The Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund is funded through the $20 billion Rebuilding NSW initiative, from which the Government has committed $6 billion for regional NSW.

It builds on funding we have already provided to regional NSW including, $110 million for regional tourism infrastructure including for regional airports, regional cruise facilities and rail trails.

Is there a minimum project size?

The NSW Government is targeting the first round of funding to regionally significant projects that leverage Restart funds in order to generate the maximum benefit from this round.

To that end, we expect that the smallest projects will be approximately $1 million and the minimum funding request to be eligible is $500,000. Smaller projects can be packaged or bundled together to meet this threshold.

Please note that there is not a set 50 per cent funding proportion rule – any proportion of funding may be requested.  Therefore, the $500,000 funding for a $1 million project example above may not apply to you.  Please contact: [email protected] for specific advice about your project if the minimum is a concern.

There are some applicants and projects that may need time to develop the best approach and partnerships for a project.  While this round is targeting ready to proceed projects, we encourage Indigenous and other organisations who are developing projects to submit an Expression of Interest in this round to open a dialogue.  In this case, the minimum funding request of $500,000 in the guidelines will not apply.

When do projects need to be completed by?

There is no limit on how long a project can take to be completed. RGETF is targeting regionally significant projects and it is expected that some will be delivered in stages over multiple years.

Published 31st August, 2017