Interview with Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly and Tommy Little, The Project

  • Transcript, E&OE
Subjects: ‘Holiday Here This Year’ tourism campaign, Support for the tourism sector.
03 February 2021

Carrie Bickmore: Well, you should think about doing that. That’s exactly what our tourism industry needs. And, Tourism Minister Dan Tehan joins us now. Dan, we want to get out, we want to explore. Some people are a little hesitant at the moment because of borders and the possibility that they may close at any minute, what confidence can you give people to just go and take that plunge and do it?

Dan Tehan: Oh, just do it. Look, the kids are back at school. You’re back at work. You’re already thinking about the next holiday. So, book it and get out there and support our local tourism industry — 660,000 jobs depend on it. And, if everyone can book a holiday in the next few months and take a holiday, you’ll be helping not only the tourism industry, but you’ll be helping the nation. So, my message is just go ahead and do it. I’m sure after you’re back at the desk, the kids back at school, that’s what you’re thinking of, so do it.

Waleed Aly: I think a lot of people do want to do it. They do need the encouragement though of government policy that makes it possible. If borders aren’t going to stop being shut, I guess that means quarantine has to be sorted out. Would it help if the Federal Government, for example, took over that quarantine thing, minimised the outbreaks, or at least made them localised, so that you didn’t have borders shutting all the time? Is that something that you could do?

Tehan: Well, I think the best thing that we can do, and this is what we’re trying to do, is work with state and territory governments to get a consistent approach around hot spot definitions and around border closures. What we’d love is, to sort of, the end of the confusion of traffic lights and such things and just have a consistent approach right across the board. And, I’ve been in discussions with the tourism sector today about potential propositions we can put to state and territory governments about getting a consistent approach, and, if we can do that, I think it would help no end.

Tommy Little: Dan, we’ve seen just some incredible places there. Where is next on the list for you and the family?

Tehan: Well, personally, I’d love to go to Birdsville. I’ve never been to Birdsville and I’d love to go to the Birdsville Races. I’m a big horse racing fan and it just looks like so much fun. In terms of the family, Kangaroo Island is where I’d love to go, and we’ll be looking to go there in the next school holidays.

Little: Dan, you’ve got life worked out pretty well. You can send the family to one joint while you go to Birdsville. Many people would be envious of the deal you’ve struck.

Tehan: If I can pull that off, I’m a genius, I can tell you. So, I’ll see how I’ll go and I might even do some golfing vacations as well as the trip to Birdsville.

Aly: You’re not meant to admit this.

Bickmore: Well, Dan. We all heard it, holiday here this year. Let’s get amongst it. Thanks so much for your time.

Tehan: Been a pleasure. All the best.

Media enquiries

  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555