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Labor Tourism Policy – June 2016

30 /06/ 2016 Comments are Closed

The Australian Labor Party announced its Tourism Policy last Saturday 25 June. A key part of the policy is the commitment to appointing a Federal Minister for Tourism, with the portfolio to be included in a new Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. As the Australian economy transitions away from resources and service sectors take on a greater role, it is important that the tourism portfolio be represented at Cabinet level.

From a Victorian perspective, transport infrastructure is central to the Labor Tourism Policy:

  • Public transport: $500 million for the Melbourne Metro
  • Aviation: designating Avalon airport as a regional airport, separating it from Melbourne and opening it up to further flights for tourism growth in the same way decoupling Gold Coast Airport from Brisbane has grown tourism significantly
  • High Speed Rail: creating of a High Speed Rail Authority to progress High Speed Rail up the east coast, which will have stops in Melbourne CBD, Melbourne North, Shepparton and Albury-Wodonga.
  • Roads: $510 million to improve efficiency on the Monash Freeway, $356 million to complete the upgrade of the M80 Ringroad, $262 million for works on roads in growth areas of outer Melbourne, including Thompsons Road, O’Hearns Road, Craigieburn Road and Bridge Inn Road, $120 million for a Park and Ride Access Fund to boost car parking capacity at high use train stations, and make funding available for new stations where demand growth is expected.

Other commitments include:

  • Visa reforms, which would be reviewed with a view to growing the Chinese market
  • Review of the tourist refund scheme, with reforms aimed at streamlining the refund claims process
  • Improved passenger facilitation with further rollout of SmartGates at international airports and ports
  • Review of the Working Holiday Maker (‘backpacker”) tax
  • Re-instating the Survey of Tourism Accommodation

Labor also states its support for the work of Tourism Australia and Tourism Research Australia, and a commitment to ensure these agencies are “adequately resourced”; however specific funding amounts are not given.

To read the Labour Tourism Policy statement in full, visit http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/labors_positive_plan_for_tourism_fact_sheet

Note: At the time of publication a Coalition tourism policy had not been announced.


Mike Hamilton

About the Author

Mike Hamilton

Michael Hamilton looks after special projects here at VTIC HQ, including leading the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards Program. Originally from South Australia, Mike has more than 15 years’ experience in the tourism industry. His career has been very hands-on, overseeing busy visitor information centres, major visitor attractions and delivering tourism marketing for both local and state governments. Learn more about Mike >



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