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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hidding?s Disgraceful Attack On The Tourism Industry

Hidding?s Disgraceful Attack On The Tourism Industry - Paul Lennon, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

The Premier said he was appalled by Rene Hiding?s scathing attack on the Tasmanian tourism industry in Parliament today.

Mr Lennon said Mr Hidding had wrongly claimed that the State Government was directly responsible for Tasmania?s tourism-related tactical advertising strategy.

Decisions on how marketing funds were best spent for major impact were, in fact, taken by the Tourism Tasmania Board, chaired by widely-respected industry expert John King.

?Therefore, Mr Hidding?s attack on tourism marketing spending is, in fact, directed at respected industry experts on the Tourism Tasmania Board, not at the State Government,? Mr Lennon said.

?Who is Rene Hidding to question the experts? His record on support for the tourism industry is a disgrace.

?He and the State Liberals opposed the Government all the way on the introduction of the Spirit of Tasmania ships.

?Then they had a different policy for each part of Tasmania in one of the most cynical political exercises seen in Tasmania for years, as has now been documented in the Cheek book.

?I?m amazed that Mr Hidding now has the audacity to criticise this State Government, which has provided the highest level of support ever to Tasmanian tourism.

?The State Government has spent $109.3 million on tourism advertising and promotion since Labor came to office, with TT-Line spending another $45 million on top of this promoting the Spirits, which the Liberals did not support in the first place.

?Tourism is our flagship growth industry, now employing more than 40,000 Tasmanians.

?We?ve seen more than $85 million worth of tourism investments completed in the last 12 months, including the $20 million Cornwall Boutique Hotel in Launceston, $5 million at Moorilla, $6.5 million at Barnbougle Links Golf Course and $5.2 million by World Heritage Cruises at Strahan.

?Decisions on Tasmania?s tactical marketing spending are determined by detailed market analysis but Rene Hidding has clearly signalled today that he thinks politicians should interfere in these decisions.

?Let today?s attack by Rene Hidding be a warning to Tasmanian business that when it comes to industry and economic policy, the Liberals will do and say anything if they think there are votes in it for them.

?What a disgraceful approach to industry development. Where would the tourism industry be now if Labor had taken the same shoddy approach?

?With no strategy for the future and the constant threat of political interference in spending decisions that should be left to the experts, it?s clear the Liberals would bankrupt Tasmania given half a chance.?


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