Jun 30, 2017

Coalition go-slow holds back Tassie tourism

One year after Malcolm Turnbull promised Tasmanians a Coalition Government would deliver a full business case and economic impact statement for the Cradle Mountain Masterplan, it appears nothing has happened.

Earlier this month the Tasmanian Parliament heard no-one had even been appointed to conduct the study, despite the fact that Tasmanian State Government has already provided investment for the upgrades of tourism facilities at Cradle Mountain.

It is time Malcolm Turnbull supported the tourism sector.

The latest State Tourism Satellite Accounts, released on Wednesday by Tourism Research Australia, show 17,200 Tasmanians were directly employed in tourism as at June 30 last year – 3.3 per cent fewer than the year before.

While the Commonwealth should be supporting the sector to reverse that negative trend, Mr Turnbull is dragging his feet on the Cradle Mountain study.

On top of this, in last month’s federal Budget, he failed to provide any new investment for the state’s tourism infrastructure.

That is not good enough given the quality of Tasmania as a tourism destination and the potential for jobs growth in this important sector.

The former Federal Labor Government partnered constructively with the Tasmanian tourism sector to deliver millions of dollars in tourism infrastructure, including the Three Capes Track, named by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s hottest new travel experiences.

Federal Labor committed more than $29 million to Tasmanian tourism during the 2016 election campaign including $15 million for Cradle Mountain, $10 million for the Ex-HMAS Tobruk Dive, $4 million for the third stage of the Three Capes Track and nearly $7 million for coastal pathways for the North-West.

If the Coalition is serious about Tasmanian tourism it must reverse its woeful track record and get on with the job of delivering the infrastructure that the sector needs.