Shadow Minister for Tourism Alyssa Hayden has slammed the McGowan Labor Government for its woefully inadequate Tourism Recovery Fund for an industry which is on its knees.
“The Minister for Tourism Paul Papalia admits that his Tourism Recovery Fund was a result of his inability to secure any money from the Treasurer or Premier,” Mrs Hayden said.
“In parliament Mr Papalia admitted he could only help up to 1600 out of the 28,000 tourism businesses in Western Australia because that was all the money that was available. The money was sourced from residual overseas marketing money.
“This is the clearest evidence from a Cabinet Minister that the McGowan Labor Government is more interested in being able to say they have run a Budget surplus instead of providing a proper economic plan. That is disgraceful. That money is tantamount to loose change scrounged up from the back of the couch.”
Mrs Hayden said the tourism industry was being decimated because the Premier preferred to focus on spreading fear in the community about the need for border closures.
“We have a jobs crisis in Western Australia. The McGowan Labor Government is overseeing record unemployment in WA and our unemployment figures are the worst in the nation,” she said.
“Every day the borders are closed, 42 West Australians lose their jobs.
“The Premier needs to reveal a detailed economic relief and recovery plan for the tourism industry, which is being disproportionately impacted by the interstate border closures. If the Premier wants to keep singing his own praises about his so-called hard border, he needs to put his hands in his pockets and assist all those businesses who are being devastated by his decision.
“Mr Papalia needs to quickly determine how many businesses are being impacted and what is required to ensure these businesses survive Western Australia’s economic and jobs crisis.
“The Minister must take responsibility and demand the necessary funding from the Treasurer and Premier and not look to the Federal Government to fix all their self-inflicted problems.
“The McGowan Labor Government’s failure to assist this important industry will have long-term economic repercussions given the number of businesses that will close and the market share lost.”