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Hotel industry critical of tourism board composition



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A U S T R A L I A N H O T E L S A S S O C I A T I O N

24 Brisbane Avenue Barton ACT 2600 · PO Box 4286 Manuka ACT 2603 · Australia email: theaha@ ozemail.com.au · Facsimile: (02) 6273 4011 · Telephone (02) 6273 4007

Richard J Mulcahy National Executive Director

MEDIA RELEASE

25 October 1999

HOTEL INDUSTRY CRITICAL OF TOURISM BOARD COMPOSITION

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) today criticised the makeup of the Australian Tourist Commission Board and called on the Howard Government to adopt more open procedures for selecting appointments to statutory authorities.

The hotel industry is dismayed that respected tourism figures, with the support of the industry, have not been included in the Australian Tourist Commission Board.

“The AHA has repeatedly conveyed its concerns to the government over the composition of the ATC board and the issue has been raised in successive meetings with the Prime Minister and the Federal Minister for Tourism, the Hon Jackie Kelly MR”, Mr Richard Mulcahy, National Executive Director of the AHA said.

Mr Mulcahy said the government needed to legislate to ensure that appointees were the most qualified available.

“The hotel industry believes there must be an accountable procedure to control Ministerial appointments”, Mr Mulcahy said.

“The procedure should be based on guidelines established by the Nolan Committee in the United Kingdom, and a Commissioner for Public Appointments should scrutinise the process.

“The UK committee recommended that all appointments should be on merit and political affiliation should not be a consideration except in limited situations. The range of skills sought should be clearly set out.

“Having selection standards will enhance the reputation of the ATC and other boards, whose composition will be seen to be above reproach”, Mr Mulcahy said.

The UK Commissioner for Public Appointments developed a Code of Practice for Public Appointments.

The Code of Practice is not a mere guideline; it regulates by law the way in which a Minister can make appointments.

“An Australian Code of Practice for Appointments should include the standing of an appointee in the particular industry and their ability to gain the industry’s cooperation.

“Otherwise the Howard Government risks alienating the very industry which it seeks to unite behind its appointees.”

Media Inquiries: Mr Daniel Leesong, Public Affairs Manager, Ph 02 6273 4007,'0417 253 753.

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