Tehan beats border drum as he outlines tourism support beyond JobKeeper

BECA has called on Tourism Minister Dan Tehan to step up and save the events industry.

Tourism Minister Dan Tehan has continued to reassure the tourism sector that the Federal Government was working on a post-JobKeeper plan.

Tehan is touring Queensland to meet tourism operators first hand. His latest stop was the Whitsundays and Mackay where he met with local with tourism operators along with Member for Dawson George Christensen.

“George invited me to Dawson so I could meet local tourism business owners and workers and to hear for myself how they have been impacted by state border closures and the loss of international tourists,” Tehan said.

“Since becoming Minister in December, I have been in regular contact with all levels of the tourism sector. We are listening to them and collecting data to inform our decision on what happens post-JobKeeper.

“The re-opening of the Queensland border to NSW will allow more tourists to return to Far North Queensland and our Government is working with the states and territories to adopt a consistent approach to border closures and hotspots that will give certainty to tourist operators and Australians planning their next holiday.”

Speaking to The Courier-Mail, Tehan said any future support “will be targeted and temporary, consistent with other measures put in place, but exactly what form it takes is open for discussion”.

“We have successfully run various programs throughout the pandemic to provide support,” he said. “The simpler and more straight forward way we can do it, while providing the most direct support, the better.”

While he would not go into detail about what form any future financial support would take he said “nothing is off the table”.

Christensen said “the ‘open-shut them’ border routine by the Palaszczuk Labor Government” has exacerbated the dire situation many tourism operators are in.

“It is great that Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan is here to listen to Whitsunday tourism operators as it’s critical the Government understands their plight so we make sure future policies in this space are the right policies for the industry and local jobs,” he said.