The State Liberals have saved the South Australian Tourism Commission Board (SATC) from the Weatherill Government’s axe.
The Weatherill Government had introduced legislation to sweep away a host of State Government boards and committees – including the highly successful Tourism Commission Board.
“Abolishing the Tourism Commission Board would have been a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water,” said Shadow Minister for Tourism David Ridgway.
The Weatherill Government’s Boards and Committees – Abolition and Reform Bill was designed to axe a host of State Government boards and committees, but failed to distinguish a handful of vital industry bodies like the SATC.
The Tourism Board has been responsible for advising the Minister on decisions relating to an industry worth $5.2 billion and involving 18,000 South Australians.
“Axing the Tourism Board represented too great a risk to an industry unique in its size and diversity,” said Mr Ridgway.
Following ongoing work with industry advocates, such as the Australian Hotels Association (SA), Tourism Transport Forum and the Australian Tourism Export Council, the State Liberals mounted an argument in Parliament for the Board’s retention.
“Since the Government announced its plan to axe the SATC Board, I have been extremely concerned about the future of the industry,” Mr Ridgway said.
“It has been a long process of debate to convince the Weatherill Government of the common sense in retaining the Board and I am very relieved that the message has finally been received.
“My sincere hope is that the Weatherill Government follows this move with a State Budget that invests in South Australian tourism, rather than subjecting it to even more cuts.”