Commission of Audit & UNESCO

  1. Commission of Audit recommends halving Tourism Australia’s budget

The Commission of Audit’s recommendations have been released with a key recommendation of “halving funding for Tourism Australia and making significant cuts to Austrade. ….. The commission says the “residual functions” of Tourism Australia and Austrade should be merged into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.” Read more here.

In a time where Australia needs to create jobs and drive the economy cutting critical funding that is clearly focused and targeted to bring overseas visitors to Australia lacks reason and an understanding of Tourism Australia’s role.

Ecotourism Australia calls on the government to reject this recommendation and maintain the funding and the, relative, autonomy of Tourism Australia.

  1. UNESCO condemns the government’s decision on Abbott Point

In another bad news story for Australia’s tourism industry “UNESCO has presented a draft decision on the reef’s World Heritage status to the World Heritage Committee that condemns the Federal Government’s approval to dispose of three million cubic metres of dredge spoil at Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, south of Townsville. UNESCO has recommended the committee consider adding the reef to the World Heritage in Danger list in 2015, unless the Government further protects the reef” ABC. Read more here.

Ecotourism Australia repeats its call to the Federal Government to reverse its decision on dumping dredge spoil at Abbott Point. The continued negative publicity generated by this decision impacts on Australia’s overall image of a country that values its land, seas and culture and provides fantastic tourism experiences in high quality environments.

Poor decisions such as these damage the whole Australian tourism industry and negate the marketing energy and commitment of tour operators and the government’s own agencies in providing a consistent ‘clean and green’ image of Australia as a premium tourism destination.

The Australia Tourism Exchange (ATE) starts in Cairns next weekend that will host a large number of international tourism buyers and journalists. It would be an ideal time for the Government to announce a reversal of the Abbott Point decision and provide a strong statement of support for Tourism Australia (the organiser and host of ATE).

Rod Hillman – Chief Executive, Ecotourism Australia

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