Talk about tourism rescue funds, explain what that is, and what needs to be done to support organisations.
So tourism is a very broad terminology, and many people think of what we don’t have the international tourists coming in. That’s true. But we also, you know, haven’t been really able to travel interstate to the extent that we could then rules got changed overnight. So there’s still ongoing uncertainty, even amongst local Australians, you know, replacing what they might have done in terms of international trips, you know, into the local tourism economy. So that’s, that’s a major problem in its own right.
But these travel agents, in particular, one subset, so there was a fund established, there is a fund established, and its a bit over $100 million. But the back of the envelope is it needs to be more like a billion dollars. But in the design of the fund, different accounting approaches get used by corporate-owned travel agents, the big guys versus the smaller, independent ones. And it appears that the design of the fund is very unfair, with a majority of the independence being unable to receive anything, and if able to receive something, something very small, this is due to accounting technicalities. And that’s where, you know, we’ve been asking and hundreds and hundreds of agents have been asking their MPs to come and understand how my business operates, so that there’s a fair result, but the fund needs more money, but it needs to be fairly available and fairly distributed, as opposed to what’s been designed.
Now look, of course, you know, no one’s got anything perfect with respect to the pandemic. You know, a number of things have been sort of invented and put in place if we’ve gone along, but a lot has been learned, you know, JobKeeper has been in place for a period of time the federal government says it’s coming off very State governments are saying various things and doing various things. But we need some plain English, direct to the business, it can all be easily justified by these businesses to get as many of them through to 2022. Otherwise, if the government’s going to be picking winners, they need to start telling as well, which industries, are they picking up the losers? So those business owners can start making, you know, the adjustments you need to get ready to be on unemployment, welfare.