Pauline Hanson & Jacqui Lambie at Leadership Summit, bus franchising, and best cruise season yet

You’ve experienced the race that stops the nation, now it’s time to reserve your seat at the premier conference that stops Parliament – TTF Leadership Summit 2016. The Summit is only three weeks away and our fantastic line up of political leaders and decision makers is going to make this year’s conference a tough act to follow.

I’m very excited to announce that Senators Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie will joining the Summit for a special crossbench panel discussing the important role they have as gatekeepers for the Government’s legislative agenda. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting political extravaganza!

Senators Hanson and Lambie will join the powerful selection of political leaders already confirmed for the Summit including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo and Shadow Minister for Tourism and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese. So don’t delay and make sure you secure a seat today at the TTF Leadership Summit 2016.

It’s full speed ahead for Australia’s cruise tourism industry according to the latest economic analysis from the Cruise Liner International Association (CLIA). The growing number of cruise ships based in Australia has fuelled a 27 per cent hike in the contribution of cruising to the Australian economy – a record economic output of $4.58 billion in 2015-16. Since CLIA started doing these economic analyses in 2013 the economic output of cruising has increased 43 per cent in total – a great result and a good news story for Australia’s visitor economy.

A fantastic statistic to keep in mind is that employment in the cruise industry has increased by 23 per cent from 15,200 to 18,700 direct and indirect jobs in just the last 12 months. That, right there, is the value of supporting the continuing growth of cruising and the broader tourism industry and why TTF continues to be so vocal in our calls for the sector to no longer be treated as a ‘cash cow’ by Government. We want to see these great numbers continue to set new records over the coming years but that means we need to see action by Government, and particularly in Sydney, to increase access to supporting infrastructure such as Garden Island.

Bus franchising has been back in the news this week with reports that the NSW Government might be considering contestability for Sydney Buses when the current round of contracts comes up for renewal. As you may recall TTF released a report with L.E.K Consulting earlier this year on the current state of Australia’s bus network management. The report highlighted the potential for $1 billion in savings over five years if the remaining Government-operated bus services in Australia were franchised to private operators. About half of that saving would be from the franchising of Sydney Buses alone.

Managing bus services is an area that the private sector has a proven track record in delivering value and better services to customers and taxpayers. TTF will continue to be a vocal advocate of greater involvement of private sector expertise in the operation of public transport in Australian cities.