The Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Tourism, Bob Baldwin and Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch, have challenged Julia Gillard to call an election to let local tourism workers in Cairns say no to losing their jobs.
“Labor’s carbon tax won’t clean up the environment, but it will clear out airport arrival halls,” Mr Baldwin said.
“The tourism industry is doing it tough and local operators and their employees deserve a government committed to helping, not hindering its recovery.
“As I’ve met with tourism operators in Cairns to discuss how we can help get the industry back to its best they’ve told me they can’t understand why Ms Gillard wants to make matters worse by putting another tax on their industry.
“Labor says Australia’s top 50 polluters will wear the brunt of Ms Gillard’s carbon tax. Well at number 22 is Qantas and at number 42 is Virgin Australia and between them they carry 91% of the tourists around Australia and both fly into Cairns,” said Mr Baldwin.
“Airlines, especially in the leisure market, don’t have the capacity to simply absorb the cost of Labor’s carbon tax and it will be passed on to the travelling public in the Far North,” said Mr Entsch.
“It’s no wonder Martin Ferguson, the Minister for Tourism and a member of Ms Gillard’s Cabinet, said a carbon tax, ‘would have us kill the Australian aviation industry both domestically and internationally.’1
“Labor’s carbon tax will also mean higher electricity prices for tourism operators and electricity is already the single largest input cost after wages in our hotels. The added cost of Labor’s carbon tax is the last thing the local tourism industry needs at a time when it is dealing with the challenges of a high Australian dollar,” said Mr Baldwin.
“In the last few days we have seen the release of a research report that shows what the consequence of Labor’s carbon tax will be 6,400 jobs lost in the tourism industry, and the Far North will be one of the hardest hit regions due to its heavy reliance on the industry,” said Mr Entsch.
“My message to Ms Gillard is: let the celebrities say yes but call an election to let our tourism workers say no to your toxic carbon tax,” Mr Baldwin said.