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Federal and state shadow ministers meet to discuss tourism and small business.



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Mon, 4th August 2008 FEDERAL AND STATE SHADOW MINISTERS MEET TO DISCUSS TOURISM AND SMALL BUSINESS

Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, the Service Economy & Tourism

State Shadow Ministers with portfolio responsibility for tourism and small business have met with their federal counterpart in Sydney today to identify ways to enhance Australia’s competitiveness in tourism, and discuss policy that will work better for small businesses.

A strong focus on the supply side of tourism is a priority for the Coalition with better tourism infrastructure, along with greater harmonisation with the states in areas affecting small business.

“Australia must build a sustainable competitive advantage if it wants to be a leader in tourism, and focus more on supply and what this great country has to offer visitors,” Federal Shadow Tourism and Small Business Minister, Steven Ciobo said.

“While tourism yield is up, actual visitor numbers are flat-lining. We need more emphasis on tourist demand, but also the supply of tourism product. Labor is doing absolutely nothing to shore up greater supply, and is hampering the efforts of tourism marketing bodies by cutting funding.

“Wall-to-wall Labor Government’s cannot sit back and wait for the next Paul Hogan ad to be released.

“The tourism sector needs to get its confidence back by focussing on its strengths and building a sustainable competitive advantage. The Coalition supports a plan that includes greater tourism infrastructure across Australia, not just in capital cities, but in key regional areas too.”

The Coalition is committed to working closely with the states and territories to reduce the compliance burden of regulations across Australia on small business owners.

“Labor’s idea of harmonisation is superficial, in that is looks good on paper and that’s about it,” Mr Ciobo said.

“The Coalition will continue working towards effective harmonisation between the states, to reduce red tape for small businesses.

“We want to simplify administration and reduce red tape and compliance costs for businesses that operate across different states.”