|TTF Opposition’s Address|
|Former Coalition minister and TTF chairman,|
|Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott|
In a bid to showcase support for the travel sector, Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott has slammed the Australian Labor Government, claiming the leadership is “oblivious to the plight of the tourism industry” and unwilling to assist in its “difficulties”.
In an address to tourism industry leaders, hosted by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF), Mr Abbott was adamant that the current administration has been unsupportive, particularly with the introduction of the carbon tax and workplace relations changes.
Describing the carbon tax as a “toxic tax”, Mr Abbott said since its inception last week, the cost of an airline ticket has already climbed by six dollars while workplace relations changes over the past few years have made it difficult for businesses to operate outside of regular trading hours.
“We know that you are doing it tough,” Mr Abbott said.
“There’s the high dollar, there are high costs and the result of the difficulties that your industry faces is that we now have a tourism trade deficit of some $7 billion a year which we need to address.”
Claiming that the coalition realises the importance of tourism and its impact on the Australian economy, Mr Abbott added that the “alternative government” was looking to work with the sector to remove the carbon tax.
“We are very conscious of the fact that you employ some 500,000 Australians,” he said.
“You are our largest services export and in all the talk about the booming resources sector, all the concern about the manufacturing industry under pressure, we cannot lose sight of the importance of tourism.”
Industry leaders in attendance included TTF chief John Lee, TTF chairman and former coalition minister Bruce Baird, Sydney Airport chairman Max Moore-Wilton and chief executive Kerry Mather, Cabcharge director Russell Balding, Tiger Airways chief executive Andrew David and former NSW Liberal premier and serial board director Nick Greiner.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T