Leadership Summit just one week away, time to solve the backpacker tax/PMC and Sydney’s metro goes west

This is it. Only one week to go until we descend on Parliament House Canberra for TTF Leadership Summit 2016. The program is locked and loaded, our hard hitting line-up of political, industry and media players are beavering away on their speech notes. Flights booked, rooms reserved, it’s on!

One last announcement for Leadership Summit. We have secured for the Summit dinner keynote address at the Hyatt Hotel, the Emmy award-winning, foreign correspondent, author and commentator Sara James.

Sara has had an amazing career travelling the world covering some of the events that have shocked and transformed our planet. Sara has even been down to the wreck of the Titanic – the first network reporter to travel to the site – and I can think of no one better to help us conclude Leadership Summit and sift through the fallout of the US Elections and Brexit and what it all means for Australia and our industries.

The TTF Leadership Summit program details the full list of speakers that include Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten, Steven Ciobo, Anthony Albanese, Peter Dutton, Fiona Nash, Pauline Hanson, Jacqui Lambie and Derryn Hinch. The only question left is have you booked your ticket? We have only a handful of spots left, so don’t miss out on what will be a cracker of an event tackling the big issues that the tourism, aviation and transport industries face over the coming years.

Leadership Summit fits right in with the political stoush that is continuing in Canberra over the backpacker tax and the proposed hike in the holiday tax – the Passenger Movement Charge. Time is running out for the Parliament to fix this problem. We need a solution on the backpacker tax that gives industry certainty and we need to see the holiday tax hike scrapped. That is the message that TTF has been advocating with the Government, Opposition and the Crossbench Senators. The industry will no longer tolerate being treated as a ‘cash cow’ by Government.

Exciting news in Sydney this week with the NSW Government announcing their intention to move forward with developing the case for the next extension to Sydney’s metro network – a metro line between Parramatta and the Sydney CBD supporting the growing Olympic Park and The Bays Precincts. This expansion of the rail network is an absolute no-brainer. The existing Western Line will reach full capacity within 15 years – passengers will simply not be able to get on a CBD bound train from Parramatta. This project has been on and off the agenda for many years – being announced, scrapped and announced again – but the NSW Government’s asset recycling program is delivering a massive cash injection that is ensuring that these desperately needed transport projects will be turned into reality once and for all.

With the TTF team in Canberra for Leadership Summit, Circular will take a brief hiatus next week, returning the following week, but I’m sure I will see each and every one of you in the halls of Parliament House for TTF Leadership Summit 2016.