Parliamentary Secretary for Industry Bob Baldwin has been caught once again claiming personal political credit for a tourism project funded by the previous Labor Government’s T-QUAL program, which he tried to abolish.
Mr Baldwin has told Myall Coast News that the upgrade of the Oakvale Farm and Fauna World at Salt Ash was ‘another example of the Government’s commitment to investing in the tourism sector and into small and medium business’.
Mr Baldwin must have been referring to the previous Labor Government, because on coming to office in he tried to abolish the T-QUAL program under which the project was funded and cut all other tourism grants which go direct to businesses.
The Abbott Government has also excluded tourism operators from its new small business advice scheme after abolishing the previous Labor Government’s successful Enterprise Connect scheme, which provided them with comprehensive assistance.
This is not the first time Mr Baldwin has tried to claim credit for the project.
Last November he posted photographs of himself on social media “announcing’’ the $110,00 grant, despite the previous Labor Government having already announced it along with 88 other successful T-QUAL projects on July 26 last year.
Last week he did it again, posting more photos of himself opening the project , exalting it as a ‘a great investment in tourism & the environment’.
Helping tourism in Australia requires new ideas and investment, not just claiming credit for Labor’s good work.
If Mr Baldwin is serious about tourism he should lobby his colleagues to provide proper support and funding to the tourism sector including reinstating the tourism grant programs he apparently supports, open the small business advice scheme to tourism operators and reversing funding cuts for tourism research.
Appointing a tourism minister would also be a good idea.