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May 10, 2017

Federal Tourism Minister, Steven Ciobo, and his LNP colleagues have failed the Gold Coast’s signature industry in this year’s Federal Budget.

You would think a Gold Coast-based Tourism Minister would bend over backwards to support the thousands of jobs and millions of dollars that tourism brings here.

Instead, Ciobo has delivered a $35 million cut to funding for Tourism Australia, the Federal Government body responsible to marketing the Gold Coast to the world.

What’s more, Ciobo’s Government has jacked up visa application charges on tourists – exactly the opposite of what the tourism sector asked for.

It also comes on top of their increase in the Passenger Movement Charge last year, which broke an election commitment they gave just months earlier.

And all this is happening when the length of tourist stays and amount they are spending on the Gold Coast is falling.

Next year, the Gold Coast will be on the world stage, hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to promote our beaches, our hinterland, our theme parks and our food and entertainment scene.

We should be throwing everything we’ve got at it, but instead, we have a Gold Coast-based Tourism Minister who wants to scale back our tourism promotion efforts.

Yet again, we see Ciobo and his LNP colleagues taking the Gold Coast for granted. 

Their comfortable margins mean they think they can ignore the Coast’s most important industry and get away with it.

If Ciobo and the LNP are happy to turn their backs on our local tourism industry, Federal Labor is happy to stand up for it.