Lee vows to point finger

Lee vows to point finger
By admin

Regional MP’s who vote to increase the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) on Monday will be held to account by the industry with the Tourism and Transport Forum vowing to expose them to their constituents.

TTF managing director John Lee said he will use “every radio station and every regional newspaper around the country” to tell voters that their local politician “voted against jobs and voted against tourism”.

The Northern Territory, already “severely impacted” by the tourism decline, will be a particular target, Lee said

“We’ll target individual members of Parliament and make it known in each of their seats that they have made the issue worse by voting for the increase,” Lee told Travel Today.

The TTF has estimated the increase in the tax will threaten the viability of many businesses and cost 10,000 regional jobs.

Lee, who along with other industry groups will continue lobbying until the last possible moment on Monday, said there had been “movement” in the backbench of the coalition, while some regional MPs are “nervous” about the decline in leisure tourism.

“This could result in a wipeout of jobs in regional Australia and we have communicated that to MPs in regional areas,” he said.Lee added that while the manufacturing industry was handed a “turbo-charge” by way of "real funding” in the budget, the “hand break” was applied to a tourism industry already in deficit.

“We were handed a paltry $61 million,” Lee said. “The PMC already over collects passenger facilitation costs by $400 million and by 2015 that will rise to more than $1 billion.”

Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner, quoted in today’s Australian Financial Review, said he has not seen anti-government campaign like it in the tourism sector.

“I actually didn’t think the ads we took out were that brilliant,” he said. “But the reality is everyone feels frustrated because no one is listening.”

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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