Tourism

Tasmanian government blunder gives free national park access to all Australian seniors

It appears Tasmania’s state government has made one hell of a blunder thanks to the constitution, giving all seniors free access to Tasmania’s national parks.

In March 2018, the Tasmanian Liberal Party promised to give senior citizens of the state free-access to any of its 19 national parks for one year.

However, a section of the constitution has forced it to extend the offer to all Australian seniors, costing the state government hundreds of thousands of dollars extra, according to ABC News.

The policy was reported to cost $750,000 over three years. However, new estimates say it could cost the State government $1.5 million for just a single year, with broader predictions that it could rise to $330,000 per annum in ongoing years.

The scheme was originally aimed to ensure parks were accessible to all Tasmanians – encouraging senior citizens to be active.

A state election promise has opened Tassie parks to seniors all over the country.
A state election promise has opened Tassie parks to seniors all over the country.

“Given the expansion of the offer to all Australian senior card holders, it’s certainly something we can boast about, that you’re able to get such a great concession here,” Tasmanian Premier and Parks Minister Will Hodgman told ABC News.

“[With] the offer of free entry and then reduced annual pass fee in subsequent years, it’s anticipated there will be a significant reduction in the sale of holiday passes to the over 60s, resulting in a decrease in revenue.”

ABC News reported that the head of Tasmania’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), John Whittington, told a budget estimates hearing that the scheme was expanded to cover all Australian seniors because section 117 of the constitution provides protection against discrimination on the basis of state of residence.

“We can’t differentially charge non-Tasmanians a different rate to Tasmanians,” Whittington said. “We couldn’t have a post code-based pricing system.”

The government is currently reviewing park entry fees, which the Premier said had remained unchanged since 2009.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

ScoMo reveals fresh candidates for expanded travel ‘bubble’, including some Chinese provinces

by Ali Coulton

With two-way trans-Tasman travel off the cards for the foreseeable future, Australia’s PM has revealed a few north Asian candidates for an expanded ‘bubble’.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Muslim influencer claims she was kicked off flight because “entitled white man” felt uncomfortable

The influencer said she was removed from a flight following an altercation with a man whose behaviour she claims would have seen her, a veiled Muslim woman, detained.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Australia’s small business ombudsman says travel agent support package is “a matter of urgency”

The calls for ScoMo to get off his backside and announce the lifeline agents so badly need have grown even louder and slightly terser.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Berlin’s new airport opens nearly a decade late and $6.5 billion over budget

You know what they say: better late than never. Well, that’s what we assume the masterminds behind this new airport have been telling themselves for the past eight years.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism Australia’s marketing team recognised with prestigious award

While it’s been a tough year for Australia’s tourism industry, its lead organisation had something to celebrate about on Friday night.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival-owned cruise lines suspend select sailings until November 2021

Another day, another cruise pause update from your trusty buddies at Travel Weekly. You can thank us by sending cupcakes and a bottle of vodka.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin ramp up operations in response to NSW-Victoria border reopening

Those living in Mascot and Tullamarine can expect a bit more overhead noise from now on, with Aussie carriers getting busy again between the two states.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Helloworld acquires cruise wholesaler, renews deal with Qantas

Despite Andrew Burnes not being very smiley in the accompanying photo, you can bet these two very big announcements will have him grinning from ear to ear.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

TravelManagers agent books first Crooked Compass $9,000 lunch

Have you got any high-end clients looking to throw almost $10K at a fancy lunch? Read on and you may just become the second agent to sell one of these luxe trips.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Trafalgar launches new competition to reward local heroes

Got a hero in your neighbourhood who deserves a holiday? Trafalgar is giving you the chance to reward them handsomely.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

New airline to charge for toilet paper, ditch life jackets and host COVID-friendly flights

by Ali Coulton

This airline is so low-cost that it is leading people to believe it is a parody of Iceland’s now-defunct WOW Air, particularly because of the strange character holding the reins.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Solomon Islands’ tourism board urges government to reconsider planned Facebook ban

The destination’s government ministers appear to have rocks in their heads, judging by this ridiculous plan.

Share

CommentComments