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Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Page: 7633

Tasmania: Tourism


Senator BUSHBY (TasmaniaChief Government Whip in the Senate) (14:46): My question is to the Minister for Tourism and International Education. I note that the popular Flavours of Tasmania event will be held in the great hall this evening. Will the minister update the Senate about Tasmania's high-quality food and beverage offering, which is a key feature of the state's tourism industry?


Senator COLBECK (TasmaniaMinister for Tourism and International Education and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment) (14:46): Yes, tonight is in fact one of the more famous events that occurs in Parliament House, Flavours of Tasmania, which is organised by our good Tasmanian friend and colleague Senator Abetz. He needs to take great credit for the initiative of pulling the team together and delivering such a brilliant program that will be held in the great hall tonight. I am certain that people will enjoy that.

Tasmania's fine food and beverage is indeed a key element in our state's tourism offering. It is one of the things that makes our great state famous and it is one of the things that brings people back to Tasmania again and again. Tonight in the great hall we will see a number of those people display their fine goods and wares. We will have people like Providence Vineyards, Pipers Brook, Sullivans Cove single malt whisky—which is a winner of the best single malt whisky in the world—Parkwood Whisky, Lark Distillery and Tas Prime Oysters.

At the recent National Tourism Awards, to build on the strength of the Tasmanian tourism industry, we saw Tasmania win 10 of the 29 tourism awards that were awarded at that event recently. And Lonely Planet named Tasmania as its fourth hottest destination in the world for 2015.

Opposition senators interjecting

Senator COLBECK: I notice some mirth from the other side, but when it comes to food— (Time expired)



Senator BUSHBY (TasmaniaChief Government Whip in the Senate) (14:48): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Will the minister further update the Senate about the coalition's work to support Tasmania's excellent tourism industry?

Opposition senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Order on my left!



Senator COLBECK (TasmaniaMinister for Tourism and International Education and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment) (14:48): The sudden enthusiasm from the opposition for the tourism industry is very welcome I have to say. The government does recognise the importance of the tourism industry, particularly to regional areas such as Tasmania. It is a very important industry in regional Australia. Last year 45 per cent —which amounts to $42.7 billion—of tourism expenditure was spent in regional Australia. To support this industry, earlier this year the Australian and the Tasmanian governments announced almost $800,000 in funding to boost tourism infrastructure in Tasmania. The project— (Time expired)


Senator BUSHBY (TasmaniaChief Government Whip in the Senate) (14:50): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. Will the minister inform the Senate what the coalition is doing to ensure the Tasmanian tourism industry has the capacity to handle stronger growth in traveller numbers?


Senator COLBECK (TasmaniaMinister for Tourism and International Education and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment) (14:50): It is a very important question. Earlier this month I announced with the Tasmanian Premier, who is the Tasmanian Minister for Tourism, the development of a Tasmanian tourism employment plan which focuses on the north-west coast of Tasmania. This will deliver projects to help local industry attract high-quality staff, reskill its workforce and create capacity to handle the strong growth in tourism numbers that we are experiencing in Tasmania. We are reacting to that strong growth in tourism numbers in Tasmania as a responsible government should. The Industry Skills Fund will fund more than 250,000 training places to Australia's workforce and support services staff and employers. Tourism businesses are eligible to apply for skills advice and training grants.