Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 145


Mr LAMING (Bowman) (15:03): A question for the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment: how is the tourism industry supporting the transitioning Australian economy? Are there any policies that could put the growth of the tourism industry at risk in my electorate of Bowman and South-East Queensland?

Mr CIOBO (MoncrieffMinister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (15:03): I thank the member for Bowman for his question. Of course, I appreciate the fact that he is a strong champion for the 3½ thousand local tourism workers who are employed in the tourism industry in his electorate.

I was pleased today to see the results of the international visitor survey: some 7.2 million international tourists, which represents an increase on last year of some 10 per cent, spending a record of $38.1 billion, which also represents an increase of 14 per cent year-on-year. I have been particularly pleased, as indeed the coalition has been, by the fact that what we have seen from these results is continued strength with respect to China tourism. China tourism numbers are up some 1.1 million, which represents an increase of 23 per cent. They stayed 41.6 million nights—an increase of 13 per cent—spending about $8.9 billion, which is an increase of 27 per cent. This is great news for Australia's tourism industry.

You can understand why the member for Bowman and, indeed, the member for Brisbane and the member for Ryan, will be pleased that we have seen spending in Brisbane increase from $145 million to nearly $2 billion. Indeed, where the rainforest meets the reef in Leichhardt, the member for Leichhardt would be pleased to know, the numbers are up very strongly—by $86 million to some $1.1 billion.

In Corangamite, I know that the Geelong region is turning into a tourism superstar with increases of $82 million, which represents 38 per cent. Likewise, on the Gold Coast there are strong numbers with increases there of 14 per cent to $1.27 billion.

I note that the member for Bowman was particularly interested in some of the policy threats in this space. I have to say that the real risk to a strong and vibrant future for Australia's tourism industry, you will not be surprised to know, is the Australian Labor Party, because the Labor Party has form when it comes to choking the golden goose that is Australia's tourism industry.

When the Labor Party was last in government we saw that they put in place record tourism taxes consistent with Labor's big taxing, big spending approach. We saw, for example, that they put in place record increases on the passenger movement charge. It took the coalition to freeze the passenger movement charge so that Australia was a more competitive destination. It took the Australian coalition government to put record funding of $629 million into marketing of Australia around the world. Thanks to that record funding we have seen the results as a direct consequence of investment in the sector.

The so-called policy that Labor talks about is a one-pager of platitudes that proposed ripping money away from international marketing, and spending it on domestic marketing, for example, where already the states and territories spend some $700 million— (Time expired).