The election of the new Abbott government has been welcomed by Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), but the body has underlined inflexible industrial regulations as a major issue for it to tackle.
TAA managing director Rodger Powell said “tourism-friendly” policies outlined by the Liberals in the build-up to the election would benefit the industry, specifically highlighting representation at Cabinet level by deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop and its inclusion in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Tourism.
“These measures will all benefit the industry in the long–run, but the biggest impediments to performance and job creation within the industry are the rigid work restrictions that have held the industry back for a number of years,” he said.
“Industrial regulations and inflexible working conditions are preventing tourism businesses from expanding, and in some cases, making it almost impossible to survive, especially given the difficult trading conditions of the past year.”
Powell identified the key to increasing flexibility as matching employer and employee needs, such as the easing of rules over mixing roles within a hotel.
Meanwhile, red tape and government levies, along with a lack of investment infrastructure are also holding the industry back, he continued.
“We can’t afford to ignore the future need for a second airport and a comfortable large-cruise ship terminal in Sydney – both of which are federal matters.”
Meanwhile, the Accommodation Association of Australia urged Labor not to stand in the way of a repeal of the carbon tax.
"There has been nothing positive about the carbon tax for the accommodation industry," chief executive Richard Munro said.
"A number of operators in the accommodation industry are small businesses, so we are pleased that the Coalition has has promised a higher emphasis on supporting small businesses."