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Thursday, 29 March 1984
Page: 882

Senator RYAN —Yesterday Senator Townley asked me a question in my capacity as Minister representing the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism regarding the launching of the domestic tourism campaign in Sydney last week. I undertook to seek a reply and my colleague the Hon. John Brown has provided me with the following: On Thursday, 22 March, the Australian Tourist Commission launched the domestic tourism campaign in co-operation with the Department of Sport, Recreation and Tourism. The advertising agency to the Commission and a professional promotions company were involved in the launching. The program is aimed at encouraging Australians to holiday at home. I am advised by my colleague the Minister that if the domestic tourism market could be expanded by a mere 5 per cent as a result of the launching of this program some $600m would be injected into the Australian economy and some 20,000 extra jobs would be created. Surely, even the small-minded Opposition could see that the launching was the sprat to catch a mackerel.

The Australian Government has, through the ATC, embarked on a major advertising campaign featuring the well known comedian Paul Hogan to promote this initiative . The evening was also the occasion for the launching of a motivational booklet which will appear in the April issue of the Australian Women's Weekly magazine. Some two million copies were printed and these will also be available in airline offices and from travel agents. Some 300 people attended the launching, including State Government representatives, captains of industry, the leaders of all facets of the tourist trade and the airlines. As well, more than 50 media representatives attended. The Channel 10 studios were chosen because of the advanced technical facilities available. The ATC has produced a videotape of the program which will be distributed Australia-wide. This, of course will be made available to all parliamentarians should they wish to see it.

The cost of the production was in the vicinity of $100,000 and Mr Brown resents the undertone of alleged misappropriation insinuated by Senator Townley in framing his question. This expenditure was approved directly by my colleague Mr Brown. The function started at 4 p.m. and finished at 8 p.m. A buffet dinner was provided which could in no way be called extravagant. The launching was considered an extremely successful event by all concerned and the honourable senator may, if he wishes, see all the congratulatory letters and telegrams the government has received following the launching. Indeed, the ATC received $1.6m from private contributors to promote the domestic campaign. Major contributors include General Motors-Holden's Ltd, Trans Australian Airlines and Ansett, to name just a few, and we are still receiving contributions following the launching on the 22nd.

The big failing in the promotion of tourism by the previous Government was its lack of professionalism. The launching on the 22nd was typical of the professionalism now being applied and the proof of the Government's success is the fact that industry contributions towards the promotion by the ATC this year are six times greater than ever achieved by the previous Government.

Senator Peter Rae —I seek leave to move that the Senate take note of the statement which has just been made by the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs in response to the question asked by Senator Townley and then I will seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave not granted.