The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has today released its Queensland Election Manifesto calling for the state’s political parties to commit to a long-term strategy to support the growth of Queensland’s visitor economy and deliver critical road and transport infrastructure.
TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said that while the release of both Labor and the LNP’s tourism plans has been encouraging, the sector and the state still need a clear indication of how the next Queensland Government plans to put tourism and transport at the heart of their long-term economic strategy.
“Tourism is the super-growth industry that can future proof the Queensland economy and support jobs across the state,” Ms Osmond said.
“The release of both major parties’ tourism plans is a very welcome first step in acknowledging the importance of the sector, but for the sake of Queensland’s economic future both the LNP and Labor must commit to the principles of TTF’s Election Manifesto and put in place a long-term strategy that recognises the tourism sector as the next pillar of the state’s economy.
“With dozens of marginal electorates and tens of thousands of livelihoods up and down the coast of Queensland dependent on the tourism industry, major parties that underestimate the sector do so at their own risk.
“Queensland is the jewel in the crown of the Australian tourism sector but the next government simply cannot take its world-class tourism offerings for granted or the state will continue to slip further behind Victoria and New South Wales as Australia’s number one destination to visit.”
Ms Osmond said the release of the tourism plans this early in the campaign showed both major parties have begun to recognise the importance of the tourism industry to Queensland’s future.
“The Palaszczuk Government has worked hard to restore the level of funding for Tourism and Events Queensland and increase Asian visitation during its time in government. It must also be congratulated for its $134 million tourism package,” Ms Osmond said.
“Tim Nicholls and the LNP have also made a number of very welcome announcements in their tourism plan, including injecting an additional $10 million into the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund and $20 million to kick-start the Queensland Academy of Sciences project at South Bank.
“However, the devil is always in the detail and the sector will be expecting that both sides provide more detail about when this funding will be rolled out and when work on many of the key transport and infrastructure projects will start.”
Ms Osmond said TTF also warmly welcomed both parties’ commitment to invest in vital road infrastructure.
“Labor’s commitment to establish the Bruce Highway Trust and the LNP’s commitment to a second M1 are both fantastic announcements that will deliver genuine results for the state,” Ms Osmond said.
“However, it is high time the LNP committed to funding South East Queensland’s most important transport infrastructure project, the Cross River Rail.
“The Cross River Rail has the potential to be the most transformational transport project ever undertaken in South East Queensland and is a project TTF has supported since it was first announced by Anna Bligh in 2010.
“This project is a once in a generation opportunity to transform Brisbane and it needs to be built.
“I congratulate the Palaszczuk Government on their commitment to seeing this project through. If the LNP won’t commit to the project they must release prior to Election Day a plan for an alternative heavy rail crossing of the Brisbane River to future-proof Brisbane’s transport network.”