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Tuesday, 7 December 1976

Mr Stewart asked the Minister representing the Minister for Industry and Commerce, upon notice:

(   1 ) Has the Australian Tourist Commission had little success in convincing State Governments and travel/tourist industry groups to match, dollar for dollar, the Commonwealth 's future contribution to the Commission of $ 1 .5m.

(2)   If so, what is the sense of maintaining any longer an organisation which, on a budget of $3m in 1976, has insufficient funds to carry out an effective and efficient promotional role.

Mr Howard -The Minister for Industry and Commerce has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(   1 ) In deciding on a Budget allocation of $3m for the Australian Tourist Commission in 1976-77, the Government concluded that it would be appropriate for the States and the travel industry, who benefit directly from the activities of the Commission, to contribute up to Sl.Sm of this allocation. Approaches were made by me direct to the States and the travel industry but whilst they each expressed support for the work of the Australian Tourist Commission, they declined to contribute to its funding.

(2)   In line with other authorities whose activities have been curtailed because of current economic conditions, the Australian Tourist Commission is carrying out its responsibilities for the promotion of Australia overseas as a tourist destination as effectively as it can. I am sure the honourable member will agree with me it is recognised both in Australia and overseas that the Tourist Commission undertakes its tasks with a high degree of professional efficiency.

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