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Don't mention the visa charge.



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MEDIA RELEASE

 

Joel Fitzgibbon MP

Federal Member for Hunter

Shadow Minister for Small Business and Tourism

 

October 18, 1999

 

DON’T MENTION THE VISA CHARGE

 

Shadow Minister for Tourism Joel Fitzgibbon has described as “bizarre” a government Dorothy Dixer on the Electronic Travel Authority system during Question Time today.

 

Answering a question from government backbencher Bruce Baird, Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock praised the system’s success citing growth in the number of countries covered by the scheme as a measure of its success.

 

But Mr Fitzgibbon said that it was extraordinary that Mr Ruddock made no mention of the $60 fee the Howard Government has imposed on applications from the more than one hundred countries not covered by the scheme including many Asian nations.

 

‘When the Government introduced the visa fee in 1998 Mr Baird was managing director of Tourism Council Australia. Back then he had this to say:-

 

“This decision impacts directly on our price competitiveness as a tourist destination and comes amidst exceedingly tough times for the industry”

 

“Today’s Dorothy Dixer .shows that the Howard Government is feeling the heat emanating from a whole range of tourism bodies expressing concern about the ongoing impact of the tourist visa charge. However, it will take more than a bit of rhetoric from the Minister in answer to a hypocritical question from Mr Baird to allay their concerns”, Mr Fitzgibbon said.

 

Contact: Mark Arnold 0262 774 404 0249 911 022 0416 054 671

 

 

rw  1999-10-20  12:03