Flaws seen in tourism busi­ness plan

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr ■

A $13.6 mil­lion boost to tourism in the north has been an­nounced by the Fed­eral Govern­ment in re­sponse to the North­ern Aus­tralia White Pa­per.

The North­ern Aus­tralia Tourism Ini­tia­tive will pro­vide one-onone busi­ness ad­vice via a team of five ex­perts for busi­nesses with a turnover or op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture of $750,000 or more from mid-2016.

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Aus­tralia Pil­bara chief ex­ec­u­tive Diane Pentz said the pol­icy should be cel­e­brated; how­ever the turnover cap might limit its ben­e­fit in the Pil­bara.

“In the Pil­bara it in­hibits those who are try­ing to get into the tourism in­dus­try so we would like to see that cap low­ered,” she said.

“What (the ex­perts) are go­ing to be do­ing is work­ing closely with RDA to make sure we put them in touch with the right peo­ple … to make sure there’s no stone un­turned in get­ting the mes­sage out there and sup­port­ing the tourism providers.

“It pro­vides cash, it pro­vides ac­cess to funds and it pro­vides im­pe­tus for busi­nesses who want to ex­pand.”

Ms Pentz said fund­ing and op­por­tu­ni­ties for emerg­ing tourism busi­nesses in the Pil­bara needed to be ex­plored fur­ther.

Fed­eral Tourism Min­is­ter Richard Col­beck said the ini­tia­tive would help north­ern Aus­tralia cap­i­talise on growth in the tourism mar­ket.

“It will en­cour­age more tourists to visit our spec­tac­u­lar ru­ral and re­gional ar­eas which will bring wide­spread ben­e­fits to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing jobs,” he said.

“I am par­tic­u­larly ea­ger to see growth in in­dige­nous tourism — to sup­port em­ploy­ment while re­tain­ing con­nec­tion to coun­try.”

Small Busi­ness Min­is­ter Kelly O’Dwyer said the ASBAS pro­gram would also be ex­tended and tailored for small tourism busi­nesses in north­ern Aus­tralia.

Es­tab­lished not-for-profit small busi­ness ad­vi­sory ser­vices can now ap­ply for fund­ing through the Aus­tralian Small Busi­ness Ad­vi­sory Ser­vices pro­gram to in­crease their ca­pac­ity to pro­vide low cost ad­vice to tourism small busi­nesses in north­ern Aus­tralia.

In­dus­try, In­no­va­tion and Sci­ence Min­is­ter Christohper Pyne said the north had un­tapped po­ten­tial, abun­dant nat­u­ral beauty and tal­ented peo­ple. Mr Pyne said the ini­tia­tive would help the north take ad­van­tage of the nearby key trad­ing mar­kets in Asia.

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