The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has welcomed the appointment of the Hon Steven Ciobo MP as Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and the Hon Keith Pitt MP as Assistant Minister.
EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, said combining “Tourism” with “Trade and Investment” is an inspired decision that will allow greater efficiencies in the way industry engages government and leverages opportunities.
“Business Events are important drivers of trade, investment and the visitor economy so the industry is in good hands with Steven Ciobo as the senior Minister.” she said.
The EY study, The Value of Business Events to Australia, shows in 2013-14, there were 2,157 exhibitions staged in Australia, attracting 9.3 million visitors and over 65,000 exhibitors. The total direct expenditure from exhibitions was $3.1 billion and these events contributed direct value add of $1.5 billion and generated over 21,000 full time equivalent jobs.
“Minister Ciobo understands the importance of Business Events including trade and consumer expos and has first-hand experience of their impact in his own electorate on the Gold Coast.” Ms DiMascio said.
“He is one of the strongest advocates in the Government for our sector – always was, always will be – and his appointment by Malcolm Turnbull as the senior Minister across these portfolios makes great sense.
“EEAA wrote to the Prime Minister last week urging him to reappoint Minister Ciobo to the Trade and Investment portfolio. We are delighted he has also added Tourism to the Minister’s responsibilities.”
Ms DiMascio said EEAA had a positive relationship with Minister Ciobo and met with him, along with other industry leaders, in the lead-up to the election to discuss the opportunities for exhibitions and events in Australia.
“Minister Ciobo has an excellent understanding of the issues and most importantly, he is a passionate advocate for Business Events and Tourism.” she said.
“EEAA will continue to work with our colleagues at the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) to continue to impress upon the Government that more support for leveraging the growth potential of Business Events is essential.
“We will continue to drive the message to the Federal Government that a more proactive policy and funding agenda is essential for our industry to prosper.” she said.
Ms DiMascio was encouraged by the alignment of portfolios and said EEAA has made good strides forward in recent years, but that the momentum must be maintained.
“We understand that the trade portfolio will demand a lot of the Minister’s time, so we are pleased that he can be supported across the portfolios by Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Keith Pitt. We look forward to working with both.”
The Association also expressed thanks to Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, outgoing Minister for Tourism whose position still remains unresolved in Tasmania.
“Senator Colbeck and his team were active supporters of the Business Events Sector – we know that it must be extremely disappointing that he has been unable to retain his portfolio.”