MP scoffs at tourism plan

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

A plan to boost fund­ing for tourism in­fra­struc­ture in North­ern Aus­tralia has been dis­missed as “ridicu­lous” by Du­rack MHR Melissa Price.

The Fed­eral La­bor Party pitched a plan to in­ject $1 bil­lion into a North­ern Aus­tralia Tourism In­fra­struc­ture Fund last week, af­ter first rais­ing the idea last year.

How­ever, Ms Price said the plan amounted to lit­tle more than “money-shuf­fling” from the La­bor Party.

“It quar­an­tines 20 per cent of North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fund fund­ing for tourism projects, whereas cur­rently, the whole $5 bil­lion of the NAIF fund is avail­able for tourism projects to ap­ply for,” she said.

“This doesn’t de­liver one red cent ex­tra for the North West for tourism.”

Ms Price said La­bor needed to ex­plain the pro­posed fund prop­erly, ques­tion­ing whether in­vest­ments such as the Red Earth Arts Precinct and Cape Leveque Road seal­ing would count as tourism projects un­der the fund.

Tourism and Trans­port Fo­rum chief ex­ec­u­tive Margy Os­mond said La­bor’s plan would en­sure the tourism in­dus­try had the op­por­tu­nity to be­come North­ern Aus­tralia’s next su­per-growth sec­tor.

“Tourism is the most ef­fec­tive and sus­tain­able way to sup­port Queens­land, the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and Western Aus­tralia as they tran­si­tion and di­ver­sify from a post-min­ing boom econ­omy,” she said. Shadow North­ern Aus­tralia min­is­ter Ja­son Clare said the north’s tourism in­dus­try was be­ing let down by age­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

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