NSW has a new government! What does this mean for the travel industry?

NSW has a new government! What does this mean for the travel industry?

The beautiful state of New South Wales hit the polls over the weekend (and some might have even gotten a cheeky snag as well) and left with a new government in charge. Congratulations to the NSW Labor party!

The change in government comes after a global pandemic, bushfires and floods all ravaged NSW over the past few years and devastated the industry. It also comes after 12 years of Coalition Government, so we can expect to see a few changes.

But what changes in particular can we expect to see and how will it impact our industry? Read on to find out!

Boosting NSW Tourism

Tourism initiatives the NSW Labor Government wants to implement include axing fees for seats at the New Year’s Eve fireworks at Sydney Harbour, bringing three UFC pay-per-view events to NSW, and reopening Wakefield Park Raceway in Goulburn.

The Minns Government has cited the success in Melbourne for hosting the UFC events, where the fights generated $121 million in economic activity, $57m in wages paying for 922 full-time equivalent jobs and more than 26,000 room night bookings.

The newly elected government is also looking to invest $103m in live music and make outdoor dining permanently available – which would remove some of the red tape typically required for businesses to have outdoor dining.

Getting People Back To Work

Those in the travel industry know better than anyone the difficult process of getting back to ‘normal’ work following the pandemic. The NSW Labor Party’s leader and the new Premier of NSW Chris Minns said he understands this and is looking to implement a comprehensive support package to get people back in their jobs and get businesses thriving. To do this, the Government is looking to implement an array of policies – some of which target schools and housing – but many impact workers in general.

COVID Assistance

Continuing on with the aim of getting people back to work, the Labor Government is looking to extend COVID economic support to those still impacted by the global pandemic – which many in the travel industry still are.

Chris Minns’ website states that those in the West and South West of Sydney faced some of the harshest lockdown of any place in Australia during the pandemic and called on the Federal Government to extend support to those still impacted. “The jobs crisis is not over,” Minns’ website states.

The new Premier argued that business is relying on ongoing support to cover accrued debts and support cashflow as businesses reopen.

Extend the payroll tax concession

The Minns Government said it supports cutting the benchmark tax rate from 5.45 per cent to 4.85 per cent for all tax-paying businesses this and the last financial year. But the NSW Government criticised the move which changed this back to 5.45 per cent as of 1 July 2022. Minns’ Government said this is too much too soon and the Federal Government should extend this for another year at least to help with recovery and support small business.

Public Sector Wages

Currently, wage rises in the public sector are capped at 3 per cent this year and then 2.5 per cent for each of the next two years, according to the ABC. Minns said last week that if his party won Government then public sector workers would receive a 3.5 per cent pay rise.

The Labor Government is now under pressure to provide the goods with unions across the state calling for Minns to come good on his promise.

“There is… no question our members will be seeking a fair wage rise,” Stewart Little, the secretary of the Public Sector Association told The Guardian.

“It won’t be anything like current inflation but I expect anything less than the realm of upwards of about 4 per cent would be met with concerted opposition from the trade union movement.”

This pay rise has drawn some criticism as an analysis from Parliamentary Budget Office last week showed this could cost the government $2.6b. NSW shadow treasurer Matt Kean said, “It is not possible to give public sector workers a pay rise without it impacting the budget bottom line — the numbers simply don’t add up.”

Improvements To Public Transport For Western Sydney

The Minns Government has announced it will be committed to work with the Commonwealth Government to expand the existing business case for Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport to Leppington and Glenfield, to include planning for an extension from Bradfield to Macarthur.

The Labor party also announced a commitment of an additional $40m for a business case to extend the Sydney Metro-Western Sydney Airport line from St Mary’s to Tallawong.

Speaking on the new government in charge was the Australian Federation of Travel Agents CEO Dean Long, who said he “looks forward to working with the new NSW Government on the state issues that impact travel and our members.”

“Our work at a state level has always been a priority especially given the importance of ensuring consumer protection measures reflect the reality of how travel is bought and sold,” Long said.

For more information about the wider changes planned by the Minns Government check out his website here.

Featured Image: Chris Minns with his family after winning the election (Twitter/@ChrisMinnsMP)

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