After months of indecision the Morrison Government has announced its tourism support package.
It is driven by politics not economics. The benefits are geared towards marginal Government electorates.
It won’t support jobs and businesses in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven and the Eurobodalla.
Under the package people from our region will be given incentives to go to Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, and even South Australia to spend their money.
But no incentives will be offered for people to come to the Illawarra or the bushfire hit regions of the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla. Shellharbour and Moruya airports are both located in tourism areas significantly impacted by COVID-19 but have curiously been left out of the package.
This means valuable tourism dollars are leaving the region, not coming back to us.
There are hundreds of businesses and thousands of workers whose livelihoods have been impacted by the coronavirus restrictions. The return of international tourism is still a long way off.
In a few weeks’ time Job Keeper will end. The Morrison Government has no plan to support the hundreds of businesses that will have to close their doors when this happens.
Local Labor MPs are calling on the Morrison Government to extend Job Keeper for these businesses. They are good businesses supporting local jobs who have had a significant reduction in their income.
We support the restrictions that have had to be put in place to protect us from coronavirus.
But it should follow that if the Government makes a decision in the national interest that impacts heavily on one particular industry, it should support that industry until the restriction can be lifted.