The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) met with Federal Tourism Minister Don Farrell last week to discuss increased collaboration opportunities with government and an expansion of the Business Events Bid Fund Program.
The BECA delegation, including representatives from Meetings & Events Australia, Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia, the Professional Conference Organisers Association, and the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, together with the Australian Convention Centres Group, met with Farrell and government departments Australian Trade and Investment Commission, Tourism Research Australia, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Tourism Australia.
“The journey to Canberra to meet with the Minister and the various government departments was quite the experience for a humble supplier like me,” said MEA Chair Michael Firman.
“I was proud to see the efforts of our industry representatives that lead to this moment, capped off by the polished performance of BECA Chair, Dr Leo Jago, who addressed the Minister on behalf of the industry.”
The main topics discussed with the Minister and federal departments included opportunities for further collaboration between industry and government; and expansion of the Business Events Bid Fund Program expansion; the need for more research and data to highlight the contribution of business events to the economy; increased support for the workforce and skills; and improving Australia’s visa competitiveness.
“It’s great to see a collaborative effort to get to this point, and the message seems to be getting through,” said Firman.
“But we all know the wheels of government turn slowly, and depending on the government of the day, those wheels can often spin without moving forward.
“The immediate focus of the new Labor government has been the cost of living and climate change. BECA hopes that the government can now turn its attention to the business of productivity and growth, particularly for the business events sector.”