Less than a week after facing off in the State of Origin, NSW and Queensland are going head-to-head again with local tourism leaders debating Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s decision to host the 2014 G20 Summit in Brisbane.
The Prime Minister said the decision to host the Summit in Queensland’s capital city was made after Sydney’s Airport was deemed unable to facilitate the arrival of leaders without causing impact to commercial operations.
Although the Sydney Airport Corporation handed the determination over to the government, Tourism Industry Council of NSW (TIC) general manager Andrew Jefferies described the Leader’s claims as “outrageous”, claiming the city’s gateway does have the capacity to manage the arrival of world leaders.
He explained that Sydney stands as Australia’s “true global city” and moving the Summit into Brisbane was akin to the UK moving the Olympic Games from London to Liverpool.
“Quite frankly, it is outrageous for the Prime Minister of Australia to refer to restrictions at Sydney Airport when her own Government policy limits the flexibility of day to day operations by legislation that specifies an hourly movement cap at our nation’s major gateway,” Mr Jefferies said.
“Not withstanding this piece of legislation, we believe that Sydney did have the capacity to manage the influx of world leaders for this summit, particularly when one considers past events such as the Olympics and APEC, as well as the use of RAAF Richmond for visits by military operations and the Pope.”
Meanwhile the Accommodation Association of Australia chief executive Richard Munro welcomed PM Gillard’s decision and expects the Conference to bring “positive changes” to the accommodation market in Brisbane.
Suffering a tourism decline after natural disaster struck the region early last year, Mr Munro said the Summit would shine a light on the city which could lead to new investment in both tourism numbers and accommodation rooms.
“There will be numerous other benefits for Brisbane, Queensland and Australia,” he said.
“The event will also enhance Brisbane and Queensland’s reputation and ability to host major international events.
“The G20 is another example of a business tourism event which will generate significant returns for the accommodation industry.”
Team Sydney or Team Brisbane, do you think Queensland’s capital should host the G20 Summit?
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J