A line up of Coalition politicians have banned together to launch a scathing attack on the Labor Government after the announcement of funding cuts to the region’s tourism industry.
Shadow Minister for Tourism, Bob Baldwin, said this was the latest in a string of tourism research cuts by the Gillard Government.
“Labor also stopped funding the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre. It’s clear they don’t understand the importance of research to the tourism industry or the importance of the tourism industry to Far North Queensland.
“The Coalition’s approach has been very different. Our tourism policy proposed increasing funding for tourism research by an additional $8 million,” said Mr Baldwin.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch echoed the Shadow Minister for Tourism’s comments by adding that this was the worst possible time the Federal Government could announce the research funding cuts.
“The tourism industry in FNQ is currently on its knees and instead of announcing funding allocations to support the struggling industry, the Gillard Government is announcing funding cuts. It is not good enough that they continue to treat this region in this manner. The industry needs funding injection, not funding cuts and I demand that the Federal Government offer support for this industry as a matter of urgency,” Mr Entsch said.
Senator Ian MacDonald says the announcement of the cuts is in stark contrast to the Coalition’s plan to aid the industry and support its rebuild.
“An elected Coalition Government would have delivered a $10 million package specifically for this region to diversify the Tropical North Queensland tourism economy. Warren Entsch worked hard to secure that money.
“It’s a shame Labor have turned their backs on Far North Queensland,” Senator MacDonald said.
The trio claim they have the full support of the tourism industry heavyweights and will be holding the Federal Government to account over the funding cuts and will push for its re-instatement as a matter of priority.