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Ministerial brawl delays Tourism Green Paper.



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Gavan O'Connor MP MEMBER FOR CORIO

SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL SERVICES, TERRITORIES, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TOURISM

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TELEPHONE: (02) 6277 4147 ! FACSIMILE: (02) 6277 8592 TELEPHONE: (03) 5221 3033 ! FACSIMILE: (03) 5222 4505 EMAIL: Gavan.OConnor.MP@aph.gov.au

21 November 2002

MINISTERIAL BRAWL DELAYS TOURISM GREEN PAPER

As the crisis in Australia’s tourism industry worsens it was revealed today that the Government’s blueprint for the future of tourism - its Tourism Green Paper - will not see the light of day until at least February or March next year.

Domestic tourism has been in decline for three years now and international visitor numbers have faller by 11% since the events of September11.

The tourism industry had originally been led to expect that the Green Paper would be released in October 2002.

According to evidence given in Senate Estimates today in response to questioning from Labor’s Senator Kate Lundy the Green Paper will not even go to Cabinet before Christmas.

This means that it will be at least February before it can be released.

Clearly Australia’s fifth biggest industry is just not a priority for the Howard Government.

Labor understands that the delay results from disputes between Howard Government Ministers over issues related to funding and due process.

For the sake of the 550,000 Australians with jobs in the tourism industry Howard Government ministers should put their squabbles aside and deliver a plan to take tourism out of the doldrums.

Contact Gavan O’Connor on 0418 518 528 Bernie Eades on 0418 523 820