FEDERAL Opposition tourism spokesman Anthony Albanese used a Swan Valley breakfast to call on new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to appoint a tourism minister.
“Titles do matter; they send a signal of whether particular jobs are important,” he told local tourism representatives during the City of Swan event at Olive Farm Wines in Millendon.
“I can’t imagine not having an employment minister or having a health minister,” he said.
“Having a tourism minister isn’t up there with health but it is damn important for our future and our economic development.”
He cited New Zealand Prime Minster John Key who was PM and tourism minister.
“How smart is that?” he said. “And they are a bit further from the rest of the world than we are.”
He said tourism was a “super growth industry for Australia’s future” and the country’s largest export, worth $10 billion to WA each year
“Tourism produces high-valued sustainable jobs,” he said.
“It produces employment in particular in regions such as the Swan Valley.
“Here in the West you have an advantage over us East Coasters because of your location to the fastest growing region of the world.
“Just to our north you can get from Singapore to here quicker than I got to here last night.
“And If you travel on a plane you never know what will happen while you’re on a plane.
“As I found out last night; I got on the plane and Tony Abbott was the prime minister.
“I got off the plane and Malcolm Turnbull was the prime minster.
“Quite an experience and of course my phone message bank was full.”
Mr Albanese said despite Mr Abbott being a political opponent he felt for him.
“Pretty tough for him and his family going through what they went through last night,” he said.
“He should be given space.
“The difference between this great country and other great countries is that there weren’t demos, there was no violence.
“We had a change of prime ministership but done in a way which the society remains very stable.”