What is the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants?

The Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants is a program to support events, concerts, festivals and visitor attractions in fire- affected regions. The aim of the program is to help with recovery efforts and encourage international and domestic visitors to come back to the regions.

 

Background

On 11 February 2020, the Australian Government announced the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants program, a $10 million grants program which has been drawn from the Bushfire Recovery Fund. The program is part of the Government’s $76 million tourism recovery package to protect jobs, small businesses and local economies by helping get tourists travelling into bushfire affected regions.

Austrade will administer the program, which has been developed in consultation with the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.

The program has 2 funding streams. Stream 1 supports smaller-scale events and stream 2 supports larger events and/or other visitor attractions such as art installations and tourist walks.

 

Objectives

The objectives of the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants are to:

  • Restore visitor levels to areas impacted by bushfires by supporting events, concerts, festivals, visitor attractions (such as art installations and tourist walks), and other tourism initiatives in those areas.
  • Promote the uniqueness of affected local communities.
  • Assist with the recovery of regional tourism.
  • Attract overseas, interstate and intrastate visitors as a direct result of the project.

The intended outcomes of the grant opportunity are:

  • Revive local communities with revitalised ability to attract international and/or domestic visitation.
  • Direct visitor spend in bushfire affected areas.

 

Funding

The Australian Government has announced a total of $10 million for this program.

There are two Streams available within this program.

  • All eligible applicants will be invited to apply for grants in Stream 1.
  • Eligible applicants in the worst affected areas will be invited to apply for Stream 2.

Stream 1 will support smaller scale events, concerts, festivals and/or visitor attractions (such as art installations and tourist walks). Applicants may apply for more than one grant in this stream, up to a total value of $30,000. Stream 1 applications are assessed as they are received.

Stream 2 will support larger events, concerts, festivals and visitor attractions (such as art installations and tourist walks).

 

Eligible Projects

To be eligible your project must be aimed at assisting with recovery of regional tourism in bushfire affected regions by supporting existing impacted events, creating new tourism events or attractions like art installations or tourist walks, and promoting those events or the uniqueness of the region to bring international and/or domestic visitors back to the region and increase visitation.

Eligible activities may include:

  • Funding for bespoke events, concerts, festivals and/or other permanent visitor attractions (such as art installations and tourist walks).
  • Business events, such as conferences.
  • Social media and/or other promotional and public relations activities including visitor guides, video, photography and other media to support the eligible activities.

Applications for one-off events will need to demonstrate the benefit to the community, e.g. media exposure, promotion of local businesses and international and/or domestic visitors from outside the region.

Should your event be ongoing (e.g. annual), where practicable, you will demonstrate the long term benefits (as above), and clearly outline your strategy to fund the event in future years without Australian Government funding.

Examples of eligible expenditure include:

  • Direct labour costs of employees you directly employ on the core elements of the project. A person can be considered an employee when you pay them a regular salary or wage, out of which you make regular tax instalment deductions
  • Up to 30 per cent labour on costs to cover employer paid superannuation, payroll tax, workers compensation insurance, and overheads such as office rent and the provision of computers for staff directly working on the project.
  • Contract expenditure as the cost of any agreed project activities that you contract to others.
  • Domestic travel including accommodation, limited to the reasonable cost of accommodation and transportation required to conduct agreed project activities in Australia.
  • Staff training that directly supports the achievement of project outcomes.
  • The cost of an independent audit of project expenditure (where we request one) up to a maximum of 1 per cent of total project expenditure.
  • Reasonable insurance costs directly related to the project – participants must effect and maintain adequate insurance or similar coverage for any liability arising as a result of its participation in funded activities.
  • Reasonable marketing and promotion costs directly related to the project.
  • Leasing of equipment directly related to the project – for example; temporary equipment needed to hold an event.
  • Other eligible expenditure as approved by the Program Delegate.

Not all expenditure on your project may be eligible for grant funding. The Program Delegate makes the final decision on what is eligible expenditure and may give additional guidance on eligible expenditure if required.

 

Eligible Applicants

Stream 1 – Applicants are Local Government Authorities and Regional Tourism Organisations operating in Local Government Areas activated by state or territory governments for Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) assistance for the 2019-2020 fire season.

The eligible entities for this stream are listed in Annexure A of the guidelines. Eligible applicants have been sent an invitation letter and a link to the application form via email.

Stream 2 – Applicants are Local Government Authorities and Regional Tourism Organisations operating in Local Government Areas activated by state or territory governments for DRFA assistance during the 2019-20 fire season and which are declared Category D.

The eligible entities for this stream are listed in Annexure B of the guidelines. Eligible applicants have been sent an invitation letter and a link to the application form via email.

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