The return of the tourism portfolio to the federal government ministry under new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been welcomed by the peak national tourism industry body, the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).
But TTF CEO Margy Osmond has cautioned that the decision to leave the Tourism Minister, Sen Richard Colbeck, out of cabinet means tourism will continue to need strong support and advocacy from senior cabinet ministers Julie Bishop and Andrew Robb.
“Tourism is a critical part of the economy, an industry with nearly 1 million employees and which generates $100 billion worth of economic activity, so it must be seen at all times in a whole-of-government context. I believe the overall thrust of this new ministry provides our sector with strong representation across the board,” Ms Osmond said.
“I would like to warmly welcome Sen Colbeck to the tourism industry, an area with which I would expect him to have an innate affinity being from Tasmania, a state which continues to innovate and lead in this vital economic portfolio.
“Tourism will sit underneath the cabinet cluster of Foreign Affairs with Ms Bishop and Trade and Investment with Mr Robb, senior ministers who have a strong grasp of the issues facing our industry both domestically and internationally. The appointment to the role of Treasurer of Scott Morrison, who has a strong background in tourism and who understands its importance as a driver of the economy and a generator of jobs, will also be a positive development for our industry.
“I would also like to congratulate Peter Dutton on retaining the Immigration and Border Control cabinet post in which we look forward to continuing to work closely with him on matters of visitor visa reform and passenger processing.
“TTF also congratulates Warren Truss, who has been re-confirmed as Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. TTF is excited that the new Prime Minister has expressed the view that he is prepared to consider a role for Canberra in funding public transport, which is vital for national productivity.
“In a similar sense, TTF supports the appointment of Jamie Briggs as Minister for Cities and the Built Environment. Our cities must be productive and liveable if we expect travellers from around the globe to come here and spend money.”