That’s it. Antony Green has called it. The Federal Election is over!
TTF congratulates Prime Minister Turnbull and the Coalition on their re-election to Government and is looking forward to the opportunity over the coming term of the new parliament to work together to build a stronger national visitor economy backed by more investment in transport in our cities and regional centres.
Prime Minister Turnbull has won re-election for the Coalition on a positive platform of an economic plan to seize the opportunities on the horizon for Australia. TTF has been a vocal advocate that the tourism and transport industries have a role to play in this bright future for the nation as generators of employment and wealth for the Australian people.
The Federal Labor Opposition should also be congratulated for their efforts during the election campaign especially their policies to increase investment in transport infrastructure and their commitment to review visa fees and application processes for Australia’s key tourism markets such as China.
Neither major party released an industry wide plan for tourism during the election campaign and in the coming months TTF will be focussed on working with the Government and the Opposition to see a clear plan from both about their aspiration for and commitment to, the industry.
The Turnbull Government is expected to be sworn in early next week with a few new appointments anticipated in the Ministerial line up but we will probably continue to see familiar faces in key portfolios. We do know that Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck is in the fight of his political life in Tasmania for a senate spot and we wish him all the best with the outcome of the ballot. Minister Colbeck has been a great supporter of the industry and it would be a disappointment to see him leave public life.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is also expected to announce some changes to his frontbench as both sides prepare to confront each other for the first session of the new Parliament in early August. TTF will be there to connect with the new faces that will be gracing the halls of the nation’s chief law-making house and will continue to champion a positive reform agenda over the term of the parliament to support our industry reaching its full potential. It’s going to be a very interesting parliament indeed.
The last of the State and Territory budgets have been released with South Australia rounding out the budget line up on Thursday. South Australia has been doing it tough in the last few years with a high unemployment rate compared to other States. Friday’s State Budget recognises the value of investing in tourism and transport which has been a message that has been resonating through all the Budgets over the season.
The South Australian Government will continue to invest $35 million over two years to promote South Australia to key domestic and international markets. The State is on the cusp of crossing the $1 billion threshold in international visitor expenditure which will be a significant milestone and this continued investment should deliver that outcome. The Budget also invests $2 billion in roads and $385 million in rail infrastructure and station upgrades. It also makes a $50 million down payment in works for the AdeLINK Tram Network – a project that will require Federal funding to make it a reality.
TTF will be hosting David Scowsill, CEO of our global sister organisation, the World Travel & Tourism Council, in August. Mr Scowsill will be consulting with TTF and our members on the major global issues facing the industry including the ramifications of Brexit, the threat of terrorism to travellers and visitor infrastructure and the rapid growth of middle-class travellers in the Asia-Pacific.