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Labor continues its assault on Aussie tourism.

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

Labor is refusing to listen to the Coalition’s concerns about the impact the increased luxury car tax will have on tourism operators, Shadow Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said.

“The Coalition understands Australian tourism is under a lot of stress, and is doing everything in its power to overturn Labor's new tax slug on tourism. The Coalition is trying to protect the interests of the 480,000 people employed in the tourism sector.” Mr Ciobo said.

“I am also grateful for Family First Senator Steve Fielding’s support to safeguard the tourism sector from the increased luxury car tax.

“Labor’s increased luxury car tax would unfairly slug tourism operators who use vehicles, over the $57,180 threshold for tours or rentals, at a time when the industry is hurting.

“Some 8,000 cars, subject to the luxury car tax, are sold to the tourism industry annually, through tour operators, car rental companies and hire services.

“Tourism businesses are already struggling with high fuel costs, almost $1 billion of new Labor tourism taxes, and a weakened market due to the high Aussie dollar.

"To compound the threat to Australia's tourism operators, the Greens appear to have done a deal with Labor that will massively disadvantage eco-tourism operators.

“I thought the Greens would be interested in having tourists educated on the environment, I thought they would be interested in tour operators who develop eco-tourism projects. Instead, the Greens have teamed up with Labor to allow a further tax slug on these operators.

“Australian Wild Escapes which operates a fleet of 30 vehicles, taking eco-tours to the Blue Mountains, estimate to be turning over four or five vehicles this year.

“These 4WD tours are an eco-tourism product of Australia, yet Labor and the Greens can’t wait to hit them with an extra tax grab.

“It already costs big bucks to maintain the standard and quality of vehicles expected by the industry and tourists, without forking out extra taxes.”

Steven Ciobo said many tourism operators are required to turn over their vehicles regularly.

“The vast majority of tourism businesses unfairly targeted by the Luxury Car Tax are small to medium enterprises with small fleets operating in regional Australia,” Mr Ciobo said.

“These small businesses have taken a risk to branch out on their own - to be hit with an unfair tax hike would be a slap in the face.”

The Rudd Labor Government wants to increase the luxury car tax from 25 per cent to 33 per cent, on vehicles worth more than $57,180.