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Standard schoolies a tourism disaster, says Hartsuyker.



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Media Contact: Richard Lehnert 02 66 52 62 33 0427 262243 Email:richard.lehnert@aph.gov.au Canberra: 62 77 4447

Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper

MEDIA RELEASE

15 February, 2007

Standard Schoolies A Tourism Disaster, Says Hartsuyker

The plan by Labor’s education spokesman, Stephen Smith, to standardise school holidays would be a disaster for the tourism industry, The Nationals’ Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said today.

“This is a spectacularly ill-conceived idea that would adversely affect almost every aspect of the tourism industry, particularly in areas like Coffs Harbour,” he said.

“If all the holiday trade was crammed into a few short weeks, we would see accommodation shortages, higher prices for holiday-makers, roads jammed with holiday traffic and, undoubtedly, an increase in accidents.”

Mr Hartsuyker said industry sources had expressed concern. Beaches would be overcrowded, local infrastructure would be overloaded and the reputation of the Coffs Coast as a relaxed alternative to the Gold Coast would be lost.

“The longer the tourist season, the more local operators are able to offer stable jobs for local people. It also enables them to invest in better facilities. The more we are able to spread the benefits of our tourism, the better,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“Labor clearly does not understand how tourism works and the sooner Mr Smith gives this policy a one-way ticket to the waste-bin, the better.”

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