Destination Australia Doorstop – Melbourne
STEVEN CIOBO: Great news for Australia's tourism industry today. We see in the latest tourism statistics that last year we saw another boost to tourism spending in Australia. This is a really important industry. Tourism exports are now worth about $41 billion. This is like six per cent increase and represents an extra two-point-two billion dollars that is being spent in Australia by international tourists. International tourists coming to our country helped to power the 600,000 Australians that are employed in Australia's tourism sector. I'm really pleased by the Coalition is delivering record funding from the sector. This record funding from the Coalition means record numbers of tourists staying for a record length of time and spending a record amount of money. Now we saw recently the brand new push by Tourism Australia into the North American market with Dundee campaign and (inaudible) trailer and a headline by Margot Robbie and Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, not to mention Danny McBride from the United States. Terrific successes. So we'll continue to see strong growth in tourism numbers. That strong tourism growth is critical to make sure we continue as a Government to drive employment, to drive jobs for Australians. And what better industry work to work in than the tourism industry where they get to say "G'day" to those that come visit our great country. Happy to take any questions.
JOURNALIST: Minister just on other international issues –
STEVEN CIOBO: Before get we to that then, let me just make a couple of remarks. And that is, we're seen really strong growth in a range of markets. In particular, Tasmania is just going gangbusters. We've seen in Tasmania where they have grown way over 90 per cent in terms of spend over three years. So the tourism industry spend has almost doubled in three years in Tasmania. That makes an incredible difference in their state. We've got 3.9 million tourists that have gone through Sydney, 2.7 million that have gone into Melbourne and Victoria. 840,000 visited the Great Barrier Reef and even this building, Parliament House, and 185,000 international tourists come and visit it so great news across the board. Yes?
JOURNALIST: Thank you. Your reaction to the sacking of Rex Tillerson?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, as the Prime Minister said today, Secretary Tillerson has been a great friend to Australia. He done incredible work together with us and now they've we welcome the incoming Secretary and look forward to continuing to do great work with him.
JOURNALIST: Do you expect to see a change in US policy as a result of these replacements?
STEVEN CIOBO: Look, I think we need to reflect on the fact that Rex Tillerson did an outstanding job as Secretary of State for the US and now we have a new Secretary of State that will be coming into the role, I look forward to working alongside him. President Trump is, of course, the President of the United States, so he sets the policy direction for the United States.
JOURNALIST: Julie Bishop was given a heads up that Rex Tillerson was about to be sacked. Were you also told of that last minute?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, I'm Trade Minister, so my counterpart is different in the United States.
JOURNALIST: Do you think it's unusual though, the way that Rex Tillerson was sacked by Twitter? What sort of administration do you think fires people in that way?
STEVEN CIOBO: I'm just not going to get into commentary on the US Administration.