Park management > Improving SA's national parks > Nature-based Tourism Co-investment Fund

Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll down to see the responses to these frequently asked questions:

  • Why is nature-based tourism important for South Australia?
  • What are the application timeframes for the Nature-based Tourism Co-investment Fund?
  • Can I still apply for funding for a project at Cleland Wildlife Park and Myponga Reservoir Reserve after the application deadline?
  • Will other ‘high interest’ sites also adopt timeframes for receiving applications?
  • When will I hear back about my application?
  • Can I add information or make changes to my application once I have submitted it?
  • How do I withdraw my application?
  • Do all applications need to adhere to the fund guidelines?
  • What does ‘conservation dividend’ mean and what are some examples?
  • Do relevant approvals and authorities need to be in place before applying?
  • Do private sector businesses need to go through the development approval process?
  • Can I apply for funding if my project has commenced?
  • Can I apply if I have not yet secured my share of the co-contribution funding?
  • Can in-kind contributions be considered in my financial contribution?
  • Can I apply if I have received funding from another government source?
  • Is grant funding subject to tax?
  • Can a project be in multiple locations?
  • How will I know if the land I am interested in developing is government land that’s eligible for funding?
  • Can I get help to identify potential locations for my project?
  • What other considerations do I need to factor in when considering a suitable site?
  • Can funding be used for projects on privately owned land?
  • Can applicants be interstate?
  • Can a project be seasonal?
  • Is eco-tourism accommodation being considered?
  • Is funding for infrastructure developments only, or can funding be used for tours and guides?
  • Are transport assets eligible for funding if the project outcome is to conduct tours?
  • Will all eligible applications be funded?
  • If successful, will I be offered the grant amount I requested?
  • How will funding be administered?
  • If my application is approved, what will be the term of my lease?
  • What happens to infrastructure constructed on government (Crown) land at the end of the lease?

Why is nature-based tourism important for South Australia?

Tourism is an economic priority for South Australia. A thriving tourism sector in SA helps to create more exciting and liveable cities and towns.

It sustains community life as it creates jobs, provides recreation opportunities, improves health and connection, and fosters a sense of purpose, pride, and much more.

Nature-based tourism is all about offering visitors special experiences in natural areas that nurture and broaden their environmental and cultural understanding and appreciation for conservation.

A flourishing nature-based tourism sector can create advocacy for conservation. It also provides a setting where Aboriginal people can showcase their vibrant cultures and heritage.

It provides opportunities for built heritage to be used and enjoyed in daily life, and for nature to be deeply experienced and cared for.

What are the application timeframes for the Nature-based Tourism Co-investment Fund?

Applications for the Nature-based Tourism Co-investment Fund opened on 24 May 2020 and will remain open until June 2022, or until funds are exhausted.

Applications will be processed and assessed as they arrive, except in instances where a site has been declared a ‘high interest’ site. In these cases, DEW will impose a timeframe for applications to be received.

Can I still apply for funding for a project at Cleland Wildlife Park and Myponga Reservoir Reserve after the application deadline?

Applications received after the current application deadline will still be considered, but will take into account the outcome/s of other applications received prior to the deadline.

Will other ‘high interest’ sites also adopt timeframes for receiving applications?

If other ‘high interest’ sites emerge, DEW will consider adopting application timeframes for these sites too.

If an application timeframe is adopted, DEW will notify people who have shown an interest in the particular site and will also communicate these timeframes via the NBT Co-investment Fund website.

To receive the latest updates and information on the fund, subscribe to the mailing list.

When will I hear back about my application?

Applicants will be contacted within three business days of submitting an application and provided with expected timeframes for the application to be assessed.

Can I add information or make changes to my application once I have submitted it?

To amend a submitted application, the application needs to be withdrawn, amendments made and the application resubmitted.

Once submitted, you may be asked to clarify elements of your application during DEW’s due diligence process. In these cases, you will need to provide extra information as requested.

How do I withdraw my application?

To withdraw your application, email us and provide your application confirmation number and name.

You will receive an email within three business days confirming the withdrawal of your application.

Do all applications need to adhere to the fund guidelines?

DEW is bound to administer the program in accordance with the guidelines (PDF). As such, no exemptions apply.

What does ‘conservation dividend’ mean and what are some examples?

When preparing an application, applicants need to demonstrate how they intend to enhance the conservation value of the site that they are interested in for their nature-based tourism venture. This contribution is known as the ‘conservation dividend’.

The conservation dividend may be financial, in-kind or hands-on.

A financial conservation dividend could entail committing a percentage of ticket sales to fund conservation activities or to a conservation group.

An in-kind conservation dividend could include providing transport or equipment to a conservation group.

A hands-on conservation dividend could involve the operator, staff and/or their guests undertaking conservation activities themselves, like tree planting or citizen science projects.

Read the Success stories to learn about successful nature-based tourism businesses that have provided an ongoing conservation dividend.

Do relevant approvals and authorities need to be in place before applying?

Applications can be submitted without the applicant having gained the relevant project approvals. However, applications should include detailed project plans with the final costings.

Applicants should supply letters or documentation confirming that their application is supported by the relevant community members or groups and the land owner.

Approval pathways will be undertaken in Stage 3 of the assessment process with case management support from DEW. Preference may be given to applications for projects that can be delivered within the next six months.

Do private sector businesses need to go through the development approval process?

Development by a private sector business on Crown land or in a national park requires development approval through the normal planning processes.

For more information on development applications and how they are assessed, visit the DEW website.

Can I apply for funding if my project has commenced?

Applications will not be eligible for funding if the project has been completed or project works have commenced for the same project outcomes prior to the application being approved by the Minister for Environment and Water.

Can I apply if I have not yet secured my share of the co-contribution funding?

Applicants need to demonstrate they have the capacity to complete the project, which includes being financially equipped to deliver.

If an applicant is independently borrowing funds for their share of the co-investment, the applicant must provide a copy of the letter of offer from their financial institution.

Can in-kind contributions be considered in my financial contribution?

In-kind contributions cannot be included in calculating the applicant’s financial contribution to the project.

Note: An in-kind contribution means support, other than money, provided by the applicant towards the project, and can include voluntary hours or donated goods and services.

Can I apply if I have received funding from another government source?

You can still apply for the co-investment fund while using funds received from another government source, as long as it is for a different project outcome.

Each funding source and the project outcome it relates to should be clearly identified in the application.

Is grant funding subject to tax?

Grant funding is likely to be subject to tax. Before applying, it is recommended that applicants seek advice on tax implications from their tax advisers or the Australian Taxation Office.

Can a project be in multiple locations?

Projects can include multiple, eligible locations. Further information about eligible sites and locations can be found on the Where to invest page or in the guidelines (PDF).

How will I know if the land I am interested in developing is government land that’s eligible for funding?

Contact the NBT Co-Investment Fund Support Service for advice on whether land you are interested in is eligible.

Can I get help to identify potential locations for my project?

The NBT Co-Investment Fund Support Service can connect you with the appropriate person to discuss your questions about proposal locations. You might also like to look at the Where to invest page for inspiration.

What other considerations do I need to factor in when considering a suitable site?

The guidelines (PDF) provide clear advice about the development, environmental and other regulatory approvals that need to be factored in when preparing an application.

Some applications could require that DEW reviews and updates the relevant park management plan to ensure there is an alignment of community values and management of the park/s.

Can funding be used for projects on privately owned land?

Projects solely on private land are not in scope for funding under the NBT Co-investment Fund.

For projects that span across private land and public land, funding may be eligible for the portion of the project on eligible public land if this aligns with the objectives of the co-investment fund and is compliant with the project types and expenditure listed in the guidelines (PDF).

Can applicants be interstate?

Applicants do not need to be based in SA but the project must be located in SA (in the eligible sites and locations listed in the guidelines) and the project must benefit SA.

Can a project be seasonal?

Applicants may propose a project that operates seasonally or only on particular days of the week. This is a business decision that applicants must consider in preparing their proposal.

Applicants should identify these types of operating requirements in their application.

Is eco-tourism accommodation being considered?

New or improved tourism infrastructure, facilities or capital works are eligible for funding. This includes establishing or upgrading ecologically sensitive accommodation.

Is funding for infrastructure developments only, or can funding be used for tours and guides?

New and improved tourism experiences are eligible for funding. This may include designing and delivering new commercial tour experiences.

Refer to the guidelines (PDF) for more information.

Are transport assets eligible for funding if the project outcome is to conduct tours?

Transport assets such as buses and boats may be eligible for funding if the asset is an integral part of the proposed project and is intrinsically linked to nature-based tourism outcomes.

Operational expenses that are not an integral part of the funded project are ineligible Refer to the guidelines (PDF) for more details.

Will all eligible applications be funded?

All applications will be assessed based on eligibility and scored against the selection criteria. This means that while an application may be considered eligible, if it does not score strongly against the selection criteria it will not be successful in gaining funding.

Applicants are encouraged to ensure their applications have strong claims, supported by evidence, against all five of the assessment criteria.

If successful, will I be offered the grant amount I requested?

The assessment process will take into account a number of factors that may result in a successful applicant being offered a different amount to what was requested.

The Minister for Environment and Water will decide how much is offered to successful applicants.

How will funding be administered?

The South Australian Government Financing Authority will negotiate the schedule of a standard Crown-approved Funding Deed with successful applicants.

If my application is approved, what will be the term of my lease?

The approval for an NBT Co-investment Fund grant is separate to the contractual arrangements and other approvals required for your project.

For example, a lease on Crown land would be negotiated by DEW on behalf of the Minister for Environment and Water.

Minimum lease periods and renewal options would be discussed further during the lease negotiation.

What happens to infrastructure constructed on government (Crown) land at the end of the lease?

In most cases, the infrastructure will revert to government ownership at the end of the lease. In some cases, depending on the development, the leaseholder may be required to remove the infrastructure at the end of the lease.

Download these Frequently Asked Questions as a (PDF).