Today’s tabling of the final report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Tourism and Events Sectors has confirmed the Andrews Labor Government’s failure to support these key sectors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Together, the Victorian events and tourism industries employs more than 320,000 people, hosts more than 12,000 events a year and contributes more than $44 billion a year to Victoria’s economy.
Since February 2021, the Parliamentary Inquiry has heard from and received submissions from more than 200 operators, stakeholders and industry representatives which have outlined the significant impact of ongoing restrictions and lockdowns on the events and tourism sectors.
Key findings from the state government failures including;
- fewer than half of all tourism businesses received state government business support funding and fewer than 1 in 5 received state government regional tourism accommodation support
- Victoria’s events sector support package was only 10 per cent the size of a comparable support package provided by the New South Wales State Government
- the limited impact of the State Governments Regional and Travel Voucher Scheme, which encourage travel during existing peak periods and only provided support for CBD based tourism in mid-May 2021.
Furthermore, a Minority Report revealed that the Andrews Labor Government blocked publishing the Chief Health Officers orders relating the Public Events Framework, has opposed resolving to provide public insurance to events operators and refused to investigate the potential role of rapid testing as part of COVID safe events.
Victoria’s major events and tourism sectors are key to our liveability and economy. Despite this, small operators have been left fending for themselves as major events including the Melbourne Grand Prix, Royal Melbourne Show, 2020 AFL Grand Final and Bells Beach Classic have been cancelled or forced to move interstate.
As a key step to restoring confidence and financial viability in this sector, the Victorian Liberal Nationals recently called for the provision of events insurance underwriting by the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority.
The Liberal Nationals also support the urgent establishment of a designated taskforce within government to oversee, support and be a strong advocate for the events sector.
If this taskforce is not implemented by Labor prior to the election, the Liberal Nationals would do so immediately on coming to Government.
Dan is guilty of having no plan for Victoria’s events and tourism industry – only the Victorian Liberal Nationals have a plan to get these key sectors back on track in a COVID safe manner.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, Cindy McLeish:
“Local event and tourism operators have been locked down and let down by Daniel Andrews with no plan for their recovery.
“Unless we back our events and tourism operators today, they won’t be there tomorrow and Victoria’s crown as Australia’s major events capital will be permanently lost.”
Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, David Davis:
“Today’s report has confirmed the failure of the Andrews Labor Government to deliver meaningful support to our local events and tourism operators throughout COVID-19.
“Only the Victorian Liberal Nationals have a plan to regain Victoria’s events capital crown and get local operators back on their feet and in business.”