Government inaction holding tourism and events recovery back

Tasmanian Labor
  • NZ flights still months away
  • Federal Government dragging the chain
  • Events organisers confused about rules
  • The Public Accounts Committee has heard yet more evidence of Government inaction holding back the recovery of Tasmania’s crucial tourism and events industries.

    Labor Shadow Treasurer, David O’Byrne, said despite Peter Gutwein’s repeated announcements about a travel bubble with New Zealand, the head of Tourism Tasmania, John Fitzgerald, said there would be no direct flights until 2021 at the earliest.

    “The Premier first spoke about this concept in May – yet nearly five months later direct flights are no closer to reality,” Mr O’Byrne said.

    “If New Zealand does agree to travel bubble in coming weeks, Tasmania is not prepared to take advantage of that opportunity. Labor has been calling for months for funds from the City Deal to be redirected to undertake necessary security upgrades at Hobart Airport.

    “The lack of action from the Federal Government, and Peter Gutwein’s apparent refusal to lobby for faster action, is holding the tourism industry back.”

    Mr O’Byrne said events organisers were also struggling to get access to timely public health advice about how to comply with social distancing restrictions.

    “People making are making decisions now for the summer season and we are hearing that events organisers are desperate for a conversation with public health officials about what is allowed under the current rules.

    “We heard one example where officials couldn’t answer whether patrons were allowed to be seated on picnic rugs, or if they needed to be seated in chairs.

    “It is little wonder that key events like Festivale have been cancelled when basic questions like this can’t be answered.

    “If more resources need to be provided to public health to provide events organisers with better access to advice then the government needs to make it happen urgently.”

    David O’Byrne MP

    Shadow Treasurer

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