While the 2012-13 Federal Budget contained some benefits for tourism these were tempered by a combination of tax increases and omissions that represented a missed opportunity for the industry as a whole.
Overall, from a business and tourism perspective the Budget does little to stimulate competitiveness and growth. Wins such as the new Asian Marketing Fund, Olympic Park Precinct development and funding allocated to Museum Victoria for the Royal Exhibition Building enhancement were overshadowed by a lack of ‘game-changing’ infrastructure projects and wide-spread tax reform.
In the context of the impending carbon tax and increased superannuation contributions, the Budget has not helped to lower costs for the industry. The tourism and events sectors will need to continue to be innovative and creative to ensure longevity and sustainability in the face of economic and political uncertainty both at home and abroad.
To read a summary of the relevant Budget measures and the implications for our industry, click here.
In further disappointing news for tourism and events, the State Budget also contained few offerings for these vital sectors of the economy.
While additional funding for Puffing Billy, the Melbourne Park redevelopment and Zoos Victoria and the continuation of funding for the significant sporting events program were positive initiatives, what was missing was dedicated funding for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre extension. This project is key to positioning Melbourne as the nation’s premier event host for international business visitors.