Pacific worker trial a win for Queensland tourism

20 Dec 2011 11:07 AMJann Stuckey

20 December 2011

THE three-year trial for Pacific Island guest workers was consistent with the LNP plan for tourism and will help redress chronic staff shortages in Queensland’s struggling tourism sector, the LNP said today.

LNP Shadow Minister for Tourism Jann Stuckey welcomed the trial, saying it was a win for accommodation providers, particularly in regional Queensland, who’d been struggling to find and keep workers as they competed with the mining sector.

“The LNP has been well aware of this issue, advocating an extension of the Pacific Seasonal Worker Scheme in our CanDo Tourism Strategy,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Staff shortages impact on tourism operators’ ability to provide high levels of customer service and ultimately impacts on the bottom line.

“If we are to succeed in doubling overnight expenditure by 2020, we have to plan and ensure we have sufficient trained staff.

“I am pleased the Federal government has seen the light and allowed this trial to go ahead.

“Queensland’s tourism sector is competing in a world market and we need to ensure we have the best service available to keep the visitors coming.”

Ms Stuckey said Queensland tourism was struggling through no fault of its own after being hit with increasing taxes and charges by the Bligh Government at a time the sector could least afford them.

“The tired, 20-year Labor Government has also imposed crippling red tape on the sector — and abolished tourism support groups.

“Labor just doesn’t care. It has never planned ahead — and is now making ad hoc, last minute decisions without listening to tourism operators.

“The LNP’s tourism strategy not only addresses this disastrous lack of planning, but it’s adopted the National 2020 Growth Target, and will focus on growing overnight visitor expenditure in Queensland to $30 billion by 2020.

“Queensland’s tourism sector can’t afford another three years of Labor, not now.

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