The Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) recently joined the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss business events with MPs who are part of Labor Friends of Tourism.
EEAA chief executive Joyce DiMascio was onstage at the event with Shadow Minister for Tourism and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Anthony Albanese and Stephen Wood, general manager of Canberra’s National Convention Centre. The forum was chaired by Member for Fremantle Josh Wilson who is the current convener of the Labor Friends of Tourism.
“This was an historic ‘first’ for the business events sector and a most timely opportunity to seek Labor’s support for the policy and funding priorities of Australia’s business events sector,” DiMascio said.
“We have a strong message for Labor that investing in the business events sector is good for the national economy and has the potential to boost prosperity in both urban and regional Australia.
“Our message to the Labor MPs was clear, that the business events sector has the potential to boost the economy but it needs to be supported through a fresh commitment of funding to Tourism Australia and through other key agencies including Austrade and Tourism Research Australia.”
The main topics lobbied for were an extension of the successful Bid Fund Program; funding for research; a national infrastructure mapping study to identify the gaps and priorities for business events infrastructure in metro and regional areas; and temporary skilled labour visa reform.
Anthony Albanese could not be drawn on making any announcements regarding Labor policy, however he did assure the industry that Labor would have a policy unlike the Coalition which presented no Tourism or Business Events policy at the last federal election.