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Friday, 19 July 1946

Mr CALWELL (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Immigration) - Some months ago I called a conference of Commonwealth and State departmental officers interested in the attraction of tourists to this country with a view to the preparation of a plan along much the same lines as those on which . the honorable gentleman has spoken. Those officers gave a good deal of consideration to the matter of " tourism ", as the traffic is now called in many countries, and are seised of the importance of bringing people to Australia; but all were equally -impressed with the fact that, whilst Australia has many attractions for people -who would wish, to see some of its natural wonders, beauty spots, and other attractions, there are not in Australia to-day adequate facilities for the accommodation of tourists. Hotels for the most part are out of date. There is not a sufficiency of them. Members of this Parliament going to the capital cities have the greatest difficulty, in common with the general public, in obtaining accommodation, and we cannot bring people to Australia unless we can accommodate them. Our railway systems are woefully but of date and hopelessly inadequate. We do riot want to bring people here who, on return to their own countries, will give us a bad advertisement. We must put our own house in order before we start bringing people here, but the necessary steps are being taken by the Commonwealth and State governments to make the preliminary plans to attract a large body of people to Australia year by year once travel and other facilities have returned to normal.

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