The Courier-Mail

Dutton v Ali, the rematch

Pent-up travellers ready to spread their wings

- MATTHEW KILLORAN MICHAEL MADIGAN

HOME Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed for the first time he will “absolutely” contest the next election, putting an end to rumours in Canberra he could pull up stumps on his 20-year career.

It comes as Labor endorsed Ali France (above left) for a second run at Dickson, with the candidate having moved to the electorate after controvers­y in the previous campaign.

Mr Dutton (above right) told The Courier-Mail he will contest the next election in his northern suburbs electorate. “I am a proud part of Scott Morrison’s team. Anthony Albanese would be a disaster for this country,” he said. “That’s the choice people will have to make in Dickson at the next election which I will absolutely be contesting.”

Mr Dutton (pictured) was first elected to Parliament in 2001 and has won six elections since then.

There was talk in the party last year he could be moved to the Defence portfolio, but he retained Home Affairs in the reshuffle in December.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese announced yesterday that Ms France would be Labor’s candidate for Dickson.

The disability advocate and mother-of-two who lost her leg when a car hit her in a Brisbane shopping centre car park 10 years ago this May, went on to become an advocate for those with a disability as well as a champion athlete, competing in internatio­nal outrigging events.

Ms France, who was critici cised by Mr Dutton for not h having a residentia­l address in Dickson in the last poll, sa said she had bought a house in inside the boundaries.

“I have actually bought a house that is really close to my current house, and it has a bit of work to do on it but I am really excited about it.’’

Speaking at a childcare centre in Albany Creek, Mr Albanese said Ms France was an “outstandin­g candidate”.

“She is someone of courage and tenacity, her life story is inspiratio­nal,” he said.

Ms France said childcare costs would be a key focus of her campaign, partly because they were a key considerat­ion when she was thinking about getting back into the workforce after having children.

“Affordable child care is so important for those who want to get back into the workforce, who want a career and who want enough superannua­tion to have a comfortabl­e retirement,” she said.

A TRAVEL booking frenzy is expected this year as pent-up demand and a gradual easing of COVID-19 travel restrictio­ns puts internatio­nal holiday dreams back on the agenda.

But if you don’t act fast, you could miss out on those bucket list plans, travel experts warn.

“Next year is likely to be a year where three years of travel demand will have to happen in one year,” Inspiring Vacations co-founder Paul Ryan said.

“With cancelled overseas holidays in 2020 and this year shaping up to be another year of closed internatio­nal borders, it looks like 2022 will be the year we all try to head overseas.

“And if you don’t book now, you could miss out. A lot of capacity is already full from people transferri­ng holidays from 2020 so if you want to keep your travel dream alive, don’t wait.”

David Hosking, director of The Travel Corporatio­n which owns Contiki, AAT Kings, Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Inspiring Journeys, said the market has never been this primed for travel and providers will want to nab their fair share of that market with never-before-seen deals and offers.

“With uncertaint­y over borders easing, health and cleanlines­s protocols addressed and a surge of pent-up demand, now is the time to book travel for domestic and internatio­nal trips,” he said.

“People’s confidence is strong and we are able to pass on up to 20 per cent discount to travellers – we have never had a deal in the marketplac­e like that. Plus, we are offering full refunds up to 30 days prior to departure, and that’s what will make the difference with people booking now.”

The cruising sector is also firing up for an exceptiona­l 2022 and 2023 season, said Joel Katz, managing director of Cruise Lines Internatio­nal Associatio­n (CLIA) Australasi­a.

“Future booking levels are unpreceden­ted from later this year and into the 2023 season,” Katz said. “There’s enormous demand for ships to operate local cruises along the Australian coast this year and the majority of cruise lines have introduced really flexible booking policies to give travellers all the confidence they need to book.”

A bumper 36-page Escape liftout tomorrow – our inaugural Great Escapes issue – kicks off a month of deals, showcasing 50-plus of the greatest escapes to book right now. You’ll also find our handpicked “deal of the day” via Instagram at @escape.com.au. Or click on the “deals” button online at escape.com.au for a list that will be updated throughout March.

And for even more holiday inspiratio­n, you need to pick up next week’s Escape for our exclusive 52 Short Breaks special.

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 ??  ?? Sheraton Grand Mirage at Port Douglas, and (insets) overseas holiday attraction­s.
Sheraton Grand Mirage at Port Douglas, and (insets) overseas holiday attraction­s.

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