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Tuesday, 9 February 1999
Page: 2183

Ms O'BYRNE —My question is directed to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services. Is the minister aware that the Inbound Tourism Organisation of Australia has warned the Senate GST committee that country areas and smaller states will suffer most from GST-related price increases and that, according to the organisation's spokesman, Andrew Burnes:

. . . regional destinations and states like Tasmania and South Australia will be the first to be dropped from tour programs.

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Bass will come to her question.

Ms O'BYRNE —Will the minister take up these concerns for regional Australia and smaller states like Tasmania with the Treasurer?

Mr ANDERSON (Deputy Prime Minister) —Mr Speaker—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr ANDERSON —A busy appointment book, that is right! I thank the honourable member for her question. I have not yet been to a region of Australia where people are anything other than insistent that we get the tax package up and quickly. Given the enormous cuts in transport costs, including in air transport, I can only say there is very good reason for strong support in regional Australia for wanting the tax package. It will generate a lot more economic activity and a lot better economic outcomes for everyone.