The Victorian Upper House has passed a motion to support an urgent parliamentary inquiry into the state’s tourism and events sectors.
Passed on Thursday 18 February, the motion will see a “short, sharp inquiry” by the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, to highlight the plight of the sectors and determine what support is needed.
The Committee is required to report on the findings by 30 June 2021 and provide recommendations for State Government support measures.
The motion also calls on the State Government to ensure additional support is urgently provided to tourism and events industry businesses.
Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council David Davis said support measures are needed to help industries rebuild in the wake of COVID-19.
“These sectors – Victorian tourism and events – are burning,” he said.
Davis recognised the state’s $10 billion annual events sector, including city and regional events, festivals and business events, is vital to the vistor economy.
“Proper support measures would help restore these sectors,” he said. “They play a critical role in the Victorian economy.”
Victoria’s Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, Cindy McLeish said events and tourism have been severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, “including the impact of snap border closures on consumer confidence levels”.
“Victoria’s tourism and events industries are on their knees,” she said.
Industry welcomes the move
The unanimous vote in favour of the inquiry was welcome news for lobby group Save Victorian Events, who hope it will “finally shine a light on the truly appalling way Victoria’s once iconic event industry has been treated throughout this pandemic”.
“And, we hope, will cause the Victorian Government to final act, and act quickly, to put in place the urgently needed support so that we do not lose an entire generation of people and businesses from our event industry at the end of March,” the group said.
Support available for event businesses impacted by Victoria’s circuit-breaker lockdown
Event industry feels the weight of Victoria’s lockdown
Bill Shorten says ‘JobKeeper must stay’ for the events industry to survive