The 17/18 Victorian State Budget just shows that Labor is completely disinterested in tourism and major events.
There is just one new tourism-specific initiative in the budget, nothing for major events, and ongoing projects have been cut or are running late.
Under the previous Liberal Nationals Government, funding increases saw Victoria move ahead of Queensland in most tourism measures.
- The budget reveals that:
- $5 million was cut from the Coalition’s Improving Tourism on National Parks, State Forests and Public Land program in 2015/16;
- The Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund for nature based tourism will invest less than $1 million of the $10.1 million allocated for 2016/17;
- The Royal Exhibition Building Protection and Promotion is running a year overdue;
- The State Library redevelopment has spent $3.167 million less than was programmed, so far;
- The Zoos Vic: Big Cat Row redevelopment is running six months late; and
- Labor anticipates that it has allowed the department to overspend to $204.3m on tourism this year when the budget was $109m.
The Andrews Labor Government’s Budget didn’t seem interested in a sector that is worth more than $20 billion and employs more than 200,000 Victorians.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Heidi Victoria:
Daniel Andrews has no vision, plan or passion for tourism visible in this Budget.
The tourism industry is screaming for the Andrews Labor Government to stop ignoring them and invest in what modern tourists want and to encourage careers in tourism for future growth.