The Australian Hotels Association has welcomed the announcement that the Howard Government has decided to retain Tourism Australia (TA) as an independent Statutory Authority. Bill Healey AHA Director, National Affairs said The Tourism and Hospitality Industry has been concerned that under reforms to Government Agencies recommended in the Uhrig Report that TA would suffer the same fate as Austrade and be absorbed by a Government Department.”
The retention of TA means that the Government has recognised that the international promotion of Australia as a tourist destination requires an effective partnership between government, business and the community.”
The AHA has been aware that Tourism Minister Fran Bailey has understood thisreality. Today’s decision indicates that she has been able to persuade her colleagues to choose commercial common sense ahead of political correctness.
The new governance arrangements will ensure that appropriate accountability mechanisms are in place. This will mean that the Minister will be able to meether obligations to the Parliament for the substantial investment of public funds spent on promoting Australia.
More importantly the revamped Governance arrangements will enhance theexisting commercial focus of the Board and provide a strong platform forgreater investment from the private sector in campaigns to promote our greatcountry.
Mr Healey said that the AHA looks forward to maintaining its strong workingrelationship with TA under the revised arrangements. The AHA NationalPresident Peter Burnett is a member of the TA Board.