Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has officially announced Don Farrrell as Australia’s the new Minister for Trade and Tourism Australia, with the tourism and business events industries welcoming the decision.
The Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC), the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), and the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) have welcomed and congratulated Farrell’s appointment, acknowledging his work and support of the industries.
Minister Farrell has proactively maintained close engagement with the business events industry via BECA and understands the devastation that COVID-19 restrictions placed on both international and domestic markets and the businesses that support the sector.
Prior to the federal election, he recognised the importance of the business events industry through improvements in data capture and analysis, and the continuation of the successful Business Events Bid Fund.
Congratulating the new Minister, BECA chair Dr Leo Jao OAM said the position was an incredibly important one that could directly support the short-term recovery of the visitor economy and drive long-term growth.
“Through continued alignment with the trade portfolio, there is significant opportunity for Minister Farrell to leverage business events for their strategic role in attracting trade and investment, and to draw upon their potential to support knowledge creation, foster innovation, and boost productivity,” Dr Jao said.
“We thank Minister Farrell for his interest in business events from opposition – in particular, scrutinising the Business Events Grant Program implemented by the Morrison Government – and look forward to a close and collaborative relationship under the new Albanese Government.”
In the lead up to the federal election, the Labor party committed to a $48 million tourism package, with $10 million going towards training and development for the hospitality and accommodation sectors, to help rebuild the industry.
ATIC chair Evan Hall said ATIC has worked closely with Minister Farrell as opposition tourism spokesperson and is looking forward to working with him to deliver the government’s $48 million tourism package.
“ATIC will work with the new government to assist small and regional tourism businesses to develop high-quality tourism products and to recover from the impacts of COVID,” Hall said.
“The appointment of Senator Farrell to the cabinet in the tourism portfolio, and the alignment with the trade portfolio, is welcome as Australia rebuilds its visitor economy,” Hall said.
Minister Farrell has been in parliament since 2008 and served as Minister for Sports towards the end of Labor’s last term, making him one of several new cabinet members with previous ministerial experience.
The new ministry was sworn in yesterday morning, with a record number of women and Australia’s first Muslim ministers.