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AFTA Update

                           AFTA CEO Update - Tuesday 16 April

THE federal election has now been called and the show down and future of the next government and parliament will be decided on 18 May. As elections go, this one is going to be close and it really is anyone’s guess as to which side will prevail and go on to form government.

With all of the polls predicting a win to Labor, it really may come down to one or two seats that will in the end decide who gets the keys to the Lodge. From a released policies perspective for the travel and tourism industry, it would seem that “detail” is not the strongest adjective being used to describe what either party may or may not have in store for the industry, but the good thing is that both have included the ongoing allocation of funds for Tourism Australia via budget statements.

So those on the inbound side of the industry should at least feel a little confident that whoever wins plans to continue to promote Australia. On the travel side, one needs to really have an open mind as to what might be ahead of us as there is no real strong indications either way as to how policies may change.

Even the results of the recent NSW election have shown how the system that we have in Australia which underpins our democracy enables madness to be the result. The NSW upper house has a widely diverse cross bench. What I mean by all that is that we are going to have an upper house in Canberra that will have many cross bench and minor parties. When an election result runs to the wire with no truly clear winner, this brings with it votes to the smallest of minority parties and this manifests itself in elected senators providing our democracy with a crossbench and leaving whoever forms government with the ongoing challenge to manage these people in order to get legislation passed.

While we are lucky to live in Australia and have a robust democracy, it would be good if we could make a clearer choice as things do work better when that is the outcome. So re-fuel the BBQ gas bottle, visit the local bottle shop & fluff up the pillows in readiness for an entertaining evening of television, as it will be one to watch. I’m sure we will be amazed how fast the next 31 days will pass.