The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), commends the Australian Government on its White Paper, Developing Northern Australia: Our North, Our Future.
AACB Executive Director, Andrew Hiebl said, “Pivoting Australia’s focus to the north will directly benefit the business events industry in destinations such as Darwin, Alice Springs, Cairns, Townsville and the Whitsundays.”
Highlighting the power of business events, the Government will kick off its foreign investment program for the north by hosting a major forum in Darwin later this year, attracting key international investors.
A new $75 million Cooperative Research Centre on Developing Northern Australia, to be established in the next two years, will undertake leading-edge research and develop new technologies, products and services to help solve major economic, environmental and social challenges. In the north, this will drive business events in areas such as economic development, agriculture, water security, resource exploration and extraction, spatial information, health and Indigenous issues.
The dedicated investment of $15.3 million to position Northern Australia as a global leader in tropical health will naturally attract international business events from this sector as we seek to learn from global experts, share our knowledge with the world, collaborate and move from tropical disease research and innovation to commercialisation.
The $200 million commitment to water conservation and water projects will only add to the portfolio of agricultural and environmental pursuits for the north and attract opportunities for regional dispersal through technical tours.
Hiebl added, “Convention bureaux and centres representing these regions will be able to work within the priority areas of the White Paper, and as a result, maximise opportunities for the Government and Northern Australia.”
In addition to this announcement, and straight off the back of Australia’s historic signing of a free trade agreement with China, was the introduction of a new 10 year multiple entry visa pilot for Chinese visitors.
“This reform strengthens our competitiveness and is set to encourage high yielding Chinese delegates attending a business event in Australia to repeat their visit with family and friends for leisure.”
“Ongoing visa reforms in areas such as ‘in language’ and online lodgement, especially with China and India, improves the visitor experience and will help expand tourism opportunities for the north, and the rest of Australia.”