Shadow Tourism Minister Vince Catania has described Labor’s series of Tourism industry roundtables as hollow and deficient, leaving many locations and regions without a seat at the table.
“This consultation process is nothing more than ‘smoke and mirrors’ by this out-of-touch Government, who are clearly just ticking a box,” Mr Catania said.
“The Government has admitted it won’t be meeting with stakeholders and operators outside of particular regional centres including regions such as the Gascoyne and Murchison”.
“Popular tourism spots dotted along the Shark Bay and Ningaloo World Heritage areas all experienced unprecedented visitation, but none of those locations have been identified to host roundtable meetings.
“While the high number of visitors was welcome for towns like Shark Bay, Carnarvon, Coral Bay and Exmouth, local business owners also experienced deficiencies and shortfalls that need addressing.
“Surely recent media coverage, Opposition questioning and vocal stakeholders highlighting local issues would have been enough for Labor to consider hosting discussions at the smaller tourism communities.
“Instead, the Government has snubbed locations that have been instrumental in keeping the industry afloat during challenging times.”
Mr Catania said speaking to operators on the ground right across WA is essential to understand what could be done better to support them, but Labor has refused to step deep into the regions.
“These roundtables would have been the perfect opportunity for the Government to comprehend the holistic needs and risks across the State’s vast and diverse tourism industry.
“Worker and accommodation shortages, a lack of infrastructure and essential services, and struggling tourism businesses are issues that have fallen on deaf ears – Labor providing no opportunity to discuss those issues at a roundtable just adds more salt to the wound.
“This is a Labor Government who is not prepared to listen to regional businesses, which has been proven by their lack of an offer for those in regional WA to have their voices heard.”