Long overdue support for Australia’s tourism sector announced today will be a relief for some but too little too late for many workers and businesses.
Labor has been calling for support for the tourism sector since it was first impacted by last summer’s devastating and tragic bushfires.
The additional blow of the COVID-19 pandemic made support for the sector even more desperately needed.
But more than 136,000 jobs have been lost in the sector during the many months it has taken for the Morrison Government to act.
Many of those people could still be employed in tourism if the Government had acted promptly instead of waiting for a pre-Budget headline.
While any support for the tourism sector is a positive step, the measures announced today will do little to assist inbound tour operators that rely on overseas visitors and have been devastated by the halt of international travel.
With international borders unlikely to re-open for some time yet and international airline capacity not expected to not recover until 2024, these businesses need also support now, not when it fits into Scott Morrison’s announcement schedule.
Before the impacts of COVID-19, tourism employed over one million Australians. Now, tourism jobs have slumped to the lowest proportion of total Australian jobs ever.
How many more Australian tourism workers will be forced to join the JobSeeker queues before the government delivers a real, sector-wide plan to support this vital industry?