Costo, Stuckey swing at Jones

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

MEM­BER for Whit­sun­day Ja­son Costi­gan has come out swing­ing, tak­ing firm aim at Min­is­ter for Tourism Kate Jones.

Mr Costi­gan crit­i­cised the min­is­ter for not vis­it­ing the re­gion since tak­ing of­fice in Fe­bru­ary.

“As far as I’m con­cerned, that’s a big slap in the face for our lo­cal tourism op­er­a­tors,” Mr Costi­gan said.

“To bor­row a slo­gan from an old tourism cam­paign, I ask Labour’s Min­is­ter for Tourism – where the bloody hell are you?”

Shadow min­is­ter for tourism Jann Stuckey also joined the fray, ac­cus­ing Ms Jones of mock­ing tourism op­er­a­tors.

“Rather than throw­ing rocks at an in­dus­try that is a true pil­lar of the Queens­land econ­omy, the min­is­ter should be sup­port­ing our op­er­a­tors – and she could start by launch­ing a ded­i­cated cam­paign to as­sist our drought-rav­aged out­back,” Ms Stuckey said.

Ms Jones isn’t be­ing left on the side­lines how­ever, re­fut­ing Mr Costi­gan’s claims.

“Mr Costi­gan should pay more at­ten­tion to what’s hap- pen­ing in his elec­torate – I was there on April 29,” she said.

“Since be­ing sworn in as min­is­ter, I have been in con­stant con­tact with tourism op­er­a­tors and re­cently met with se­nior man­age­ment from One&Only Hay­man Is­land.”

Mr Costi­gan said the Whit­sun­days needed a min­is­ter who was “fair dinkum”. One who “un­der­stands the in­dus­try and wants to be on the front foot in pro­mot­ing the in­dus­try, es­pe­cially in the Whit­sun­days – the most touris­mde­pen­dant re­gion on the eastern seaboard”.

But Ms Jones chal­lenged this, say­ing it was Mr Costi­gan who wasn’t tak­ing tourism se­ri­ously.

“If Mr Costi­gan was se­ri­ous about tourism in the Whit­sun­days, he would have spent the last three years try­ing to stop his own LNP gov­ern­ment from slash­ing mil­lions of tourism dol­lars in Queens­land,” she said.

“Mr Costi­gan has not raised tourism with me di­rectly and, by con­trast, Mem­ber for Mackay Julieanne Gil­bert has con­tacted me per­son­ally to rep­re­sent Mackay tourism op­er­a­tors.”

Mem­ber for Whit­sun­day Ja­son Costi­gan.

Min­is­ter Jones.

for Tourism Kate

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