The Liberal Nationals are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to provide urgent relief to tourism businesses, in a bid to stop tourism doors from closing indefinitely and save thousands of Victorian jobs.
The Andrews Labor Government is again lagging behind New South Wales in support for tourism businesses, with New South Wales set to extend JobSaver for large tourism and hospitality businesses to help save approximately 10,000 jobs. This is not the first time New South Wales has been on the front foot to support tourism businesses, offering a whopping $65,000 more per grant for business events than Victoria.
Daniel Andrews needs to put a plan on the table to support tourism businesses. If the Andrews Labor Government needs Federal Government support, they need to grab the bull by the horns and take the lead like the New South Wales Government has.
Businesses fear, when they are allowed to re-open, restricted operating events such as tight density limits will push them further behind the eight ball and closer to sinking.
The Andrews Labor Government has failed to provide support measures following the Parliamentary Inquiry into the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Tourism and Events Sectors tabled weeks ago. During the inquiry, tourism operators clearly made their struggles known, pleading the government for support. The inquiry recognised the imposition around density requirements and made recommendations to overcome the restriction, which the Andrews Labor Government should take onboard.
Jobs in service industries which support the tourism sector, including hospitality and accommodation were the most impacted by the lockdowns, falling 22 per cent between March and November 2020. This year’s lockdowns have only continued to decimate tourism businesses further. At the inquiry, the Accommodation Association predicted that these job losses are unlikely to be regained for at least four years.
Daniel Andrews and Labor are guilty of having no plan for the tourism sector and it’s putting the state’s economic recovery at risk that the Victorian people have worked so hard to earn.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, Cindy McLeish:
“Victoria’s tourism businesses have remained on their knees during this year’s lockdowns. Operators are at their wits end, wondering how or if they can survive until vaccination targets are met.
“Tourism businesses should be planning for the upcoming school holidays, instead they are struggling to stay afloat.
“Operators need to see a light at the end of the tunnel, and they can’t unless the government has a plan. A travel voucher scheme will not be enough help if tourism businesses have already folded.”