Labor ties tourism funding to election cycle

2 Mar 2012 12:10 PMJann Stuckey

2 February 2012

BLIGH Labor today launched its bold new tourism policy – tying funding to its election cycle.

LNP Shadow Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Jann Stuckey said the tired, 20-year Labor government was effectively tying support and funding and ideas to the three-year election cycle.

“It’s obvious that Labor expects Queensland tourism to wait three years til election eve to hear what’s in store for them,” Ms Stuckey said.

“It’s akin to holding a key industry to ransom – waiting until there’s just three weeks to go to the election and then promising more cash than the Opposition.

“And what’s worse, Labor wants to put bureaucrats in charge of aviation marketing and funding – stripping ‘Tourism Queensland of its strategic leadership role.”

Ms Stuckey said stripping TQ of the role and handing it to bureaucrats in the convoluted mess that was DEEDI with its six Ministers and none being accountable, would be an unmitigated disaster.

“Anna Bligh and Labor have done nothing to help Cairns and its tourism operators and allied businesses. Many have gone to the wall and hundreds of jobs have been lost.

“But today, on the eve of an election Labor suddenly decides to roll up and say it has the answers – vote for us again and we’ll do something.

“This tired, 20-year Labor government has done nothing for Cairns and that’s Cairns has one of the highest unemployment rates in Queensland.

“Only the LNP has a real plan to get tourism back on track,” Ms Stuckey said.

“We’ll cut waste and red tape and raise the threshold for payroll tax and work with industry leaders and the likes of Cairns airport managers to attract new airlines and new tourists to Cairns and Queensland.

“The LNP is committed to cutting red tape by 20 percent for small business. We’ll scrap labor’s waste-tax on tourism operators. We’ll work hard to build tourism as part of our plan to build a four-pillar economy.”

Ms Stuckey said the LNP had promised $40 million to expand access for the cruise industry in Cairns, committed $8 million for its aviation strategy and would open up national parks for nature-based tourism.

“It’s time for a change. It’s time to get Queensland back on track.”