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Wednesday, 12 December 1973
Page: 2695

Senator TOWNLEY (TASMANIA) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Tourism and Recreation. Is the Minister aware that the tourist industry is important to the Tasmanian economy and that the tourist industry is a large employer of females? Is he aware that any government impost that leads to an increase in air fares , such as an increase in the fuel tax or an increase in air navigation charges, both of which were effected in the last Budget, has a detrimental effect on tourism to and from Tasmania? Is the Government aware that eventually total government revenue would be increased by the reduction or removal of such restrictive charges as the fuel tax and the air navigation charges through the consequent growth of the tourist industry? Has the Government considered setting up a committee to examine all aspects of tourism or having the Australian Tourist Commission examine all aspects of tourism and the effect of such taxes and charges upon tourism?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -There seems to be involved in the honourable senator's questions a number of matters which concern a number of Ministers. First of all, there were some argumentative matters in his questions which generally probably relate to the overall budgetary context. Therefore that portion of the question probably should be referred to my colleague the Treasurer. Senator Townley also directed my attention to air fares and air navigation charges. Those matters, I suggest to him, should be more properly directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport. However, in regard to those aspects of the question which relate to tourism, certainly I agree that Tasmania is dependent to a large extent on tourism. It is the desire of the Australian Government to establish the tourist industry for Australia and Australians generally. A large number of females is employed in the industry; that goes without saying. I know that my colleague the Minister for Tourism and Recreation is devoting a great portion of his energies to ensuring that the tourist industy is placed on a proper economic and viable basis. I shall refer the honourable senator's questions to my colleague to see whether he can give a more detailed reply than I have given.

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