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Tourism legislation passes the Senate.



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Joe Hockey Minister for Small Business and Tourism TOURISM LEGISLATION PASSES THE SENATE Historic legislation to create a new single tourism body, Tourism Australia, has passed the Senate the Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Joe Hockey, said today. “For the first time in thirty seven years, Australia has a new national tourism body and a new direction forward,” Mr Hockey said. This is a key plank of the Federal Government’s reform agenda for tourism. The new tourism body, Tourism Australia, combines the functions of the Australian Tourist Commission, See Australia, the Tourism Forecasting Council and the Bureau of Tourism Research. An important element of the Government’s $235 million Tourism White Paper, Tourism Australia will strengthen international and domestic marketing efforts, boost growth and development of tourism in regional Australia, and develop a better research base. “Tourism Australia will play a key role in influencing people to travel to, and within Australia, including both international and domestic visitors,” Mr Hockey said. Tourism Australia will be established as a statutory body subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). This recognises the commercial focus of the new body and the need for it to operate flexibly in a commercial environment. The Tourism Australia Bill 2004 will now return to the House of Representatives and subject to final passage and assent, it is expected that Tourism Australia will be operational in the near future. The Governing Board to be appointed by the Minister will consist of 10 part time members; the Chair, Deputy Chair, Government member, Managing Director and 6 others who will have a wide range of skills as identified in the legislation. “Importantly, this legislation will enable the Board to establish Advisory Panels, which will advise the Board on areas of importance such as international tourism, domestic tourism, sustainable tourism, events and research. I expect membership of

the Advisory Panels will consist of representatives from across industry, government, academia and broader community,” he said.

“This is fantastic day for our hardworking tourism industry, as Tourism Australia will help foster a sustainable Australian tourism industry and increase the contribution of tourism to the Australian economy.”

Media enquiries: Sasha Grebe, 0408 974 349 18 June 2004