Round 2 Status: CLOSED

The ‘Turtle Tank’ is back for its second year to give our region’s businesses and organisations an opportunity to apply for funds towards an innovative idea that will boost tourism in our region.

The Turtle Tank fund is proudly sponsored by Gladstone Regional Council with $50,000 available for successful applicants to access. This year, successful applicants pitching ideas with a marine focus, may be granted up to $20,000.

The application process involves three steps:

  1. Attending the ONLINE Tourism Innovation Fund Information Session
  2. Submitting a written application outlining the basics of your initiative to the panel for assessment
  3. Attending the ‘Turtle Tank’ and pitching your initiative to an expert panel of Gladstone Regional Council (GRC) and Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited (GAPDL) representatives.

The Turtle Tank Fund will be administered by GAPDL. For further information contact GAPDL
Tourism Manager Nicola Scurr on (07) 4972 4000 or via email on tourismmanager@gapdl.com.au



Criteria and Guidelines

The purpose of the fund is to support innovative ideas, campaigns and initiatives in the
Marine Tourism space which benefit the Gladstone Region now and into the future. The funding
process is an innovative process designed to foster innovation and provide an opportunity
to progress new ideas outside of a traditional written application.

Examples of successful projects may include (but are not limited to):

– New Marine Tourism products or services
– Seed funding to support business case development
– Innovative marketing campaigns
– Equipment and/or infrastructure that supports growth of existing tourism products
   or services

The desired outcome is to create new marine tourism products in the Gladstone Region.

Projects should show that they are;

  • Innovative
  • Sustainable
  • Environmentally conscious
  • Aligned to strategy;
         GRC Visitor Economy Strategy and sub-strategies
         GAPDL Destination Tourism Plan

Where projects are not successful in the application process, the panel may recommend
additional mentoring, tourism growth development workshops or other advice. This may be
funded from the fund. The decision to do so is at the panel’s discretion. 

All successful projects must be completed within a timeframe of 12 months. 


Applicant requirements


Applicants can be:

  • Not for Profit Organisations
  • Businesses/Commercial Operators based in the Gladstone Local Government Area (LGA)
  • Partnerships/Consortiums


Applicants must:

  • Be incorporated (not applicable for businesses)
  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Be financially solvent
  • Have an operational bank account for the funds to be paid into.


Applicants must not be:

  • Religious Organisations
  • Political Organisations
  • A Sporting Club
  • Educational Institutions
  • Local, State and Federal Government agency

Projects should be able to demonstrate they are innovative, sustainable, environmentally
conscious and aligned to the GRC Visitor Economy Strategy and sub-strategies as well as
the GAPDL Destination Tourism Plan. There is a preference for projects which leverage off
current events and or existing infrastructure in the region.


Application process


  1. Applicants will attend a virtual Tourism Innovation Fund information session at 10am on 11th May, 2023. *This session will be recorded for those who are unable to tune in.


  1. Applicants will submit a written application outlining the concept of the initiative to
    the panel for assessment;


  1. Successful written applicants will be invited to attend the Turtle Tank where
    applicants will be required to pitch their initiative to a panel of expert investors
    which will consist of five members.

Tourism Innovation Fund Information Session Content Includes;

– Eligibility and criteria
– Key points to hit on in a successful application
– ATDW information and it’s importance to your product and application
– Introduction to supporting documents – GRC Visitor Economy Strategy, GAPDL Destination Tourism Plan
– Presentation and sales skills in preparation for the turtle tank




  • Round Two Opens: 11th April, 2023
  • Round Two Virtual Turtle Tank Fund Information Session: 11th May, 2023 from 10am – 10:30am virtually and will be recorded for those who are unable to attend.
  • Round Two Closes: 22nd May, 2023
  • Assessment Period: 1 week (23rd May – 30th May)
  • Turtle Tank Hosted: 21st June, 2023
  • All applicants will be notified of an outcome within two weeks – 5thJuly, 2023

Maximum funding per application is $20,000.

Successful applicants will be required to be involved in media/press opportunities.

Gladstone Regional Council have final sign off on successful submissions.

Please note all Turtle Tank Panellists will sign a confidentiality agreement. 

Print and email your application in or fill out the online google form using the links below.