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Powell Media Release – Infrastructure neglect costs Cairns tourism jobs

Thursday 8 November, 2018

Cairns is sliding down Australia’s tourism table because of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s failure to invest in the region, the LNP warned today.

Far North Queensland lost 39,000 international visitors in the 2017-18 year, as well as 790,000 international visitor nights, according to Tourism Research Australia’s latest report*.

The region was ranked 17th nationally for average spend per international visitor ($1,222), trailing destinations such as Melbourne ($2,641), Brisbane ($1,855) and Tasmania ($1,411).

Meanwhile, the latest unemployment figures show Cairns lost 1200 jobs in the last year**.

LNP Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Andrew Powell said the region was paying for years of neglect under Labor.

“The Far North economy has missed out on $30m in revenue and countless jobs because of Labor’s neglect,” Mr Powell said.

“This region should be jewel in our tourism crown, but under Labor we’re losing tens of thousands of visitors to destinations in the southern states.

“In four years, Annastacia Palaszczuk has delivered nothing for Cairns’ most important industry.”

Mr Powell said major projects in Cairns, such as the Convention Centre upgrade and Aquis project, had either been hit by delays or collapsed altogether.

And the much-vaunted Cairns Global Tourism Hub, announced by Labor before the last state election, is already running behind schedule.

“Cairns received very little from Labor when Curtis Pitt was Treasurer,” Ms Powell said.

“Cairns is even less of a priority for Treasurer Jackie Trad, whose only priority is a $15 billion infrastructure project in her own South Brisbane electorate.

“All Labor has given Far North Queensland is taxes, debt and unemployment.”

* Data at www.tra.gov.au/International/international-tourism-results
** Data at www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/reg-labour-force/region-summary-201809.pdf

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