Thursday, 12 November 2020
Jobs for the Future in Regional Areas Select Committee; Report
Thank you very much, Madam Deputy President, for your protection. The member for Dawson, George Christensen—another great member of the National Party—whose electorate covers the Whitsundays, said that in the first week of borders closing 2,000 people were stood down from their jobs in the Whitsundays tourism industry. With travel and tourism grounded, the Whitsundays were losing $75 million a month. Keith Pitt, in the electorate of Hinkler, reports that whale-watching season has come to a close. Domestic tourism may indeed be starting to recover, but that is not helping the travel agent industry, which, as I said, deals with 70 per cent of international travel booked in this country.
There are 40,000 people needing our assistance in a unique, pandemic induced crisis. Whilst we've supported other areas and other industries with targeted support—we've got a great tourism package to refocus our tourism industry to take up opportunities domestically—this area still needs focus, and the National Party has its back.
I seek leave to continue my remarks later.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.