Supporting the Whitsundays tourism industry

  • Media release
09 February 2021

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said today the Coalition Government was working with the tourism sector on a post-JobKeeper plan.

Mr Tehan and Member for Dawson George Christensen will meet with tourism operators in the Whitsundays and Mackay today to hear firsthand about the local sector's recovery.

“George invited me to Dawson so I could meet local tourism business owners and workers and to hear for myself how they have been impacted by state border closures and the loss of international tourists,” Mr Tehan said.

“Since becoming Minister in December, I have been in regular contact with all levels of the tourism sector. We are listening to them and collecting data to inform our decision on what happens post-JobKeeper.

“When international travel resumes, there will be queues of tourists lining up to visit our amazing tourist destinations, like here on the Whitsundays and surrounding areas.

“To support the sector our Government has provided the JobKeeper program as well as the $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, which included specific support measures for regional airlines ($308 million), conservation and infrastructure upgrades for national and world heritage sites ($33.5 million), and $100 million for tourism-related infrastructure through the Building Better Regions Fund.

“Our Government has also launched a $5 million advertising blitz to encourage Australians to book a domestic holiday this year to support local jobs and businesses.

“The data indicates that people still want to go on holidays, but they are more cautious than ever. Border restrictions are now a bigger concern than COVID-19 to Australians who are planning a holiday.

“The re-opening of the Queensland border to NSW will allow more tourists to return to Far North Queensland and our Government is working with the states and territories to adopt a consistent approach to border closures and hotspots that will give certainty to tourist operators and Australians planning their next holiday.”

Mr Christensen said many tourism businesses stayed afloat and many tourism workers remained in a job because of the Morrison Liberal National Government supports like JobKeeper and the business cash flow payment.

“By contrast, the ‘open-shut them’ border routine by the Palaszczuk Labor Government has certainly not helped the situation many operators and workers find themselves in,”
Mr Christensen said.

“It is great that Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan is here to listen to Whitsunday tourism operators as it's critical the Government understands their plight so we make sure future policies in this space are the right policies for the industry and local jobs.”  

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