Greens claim tourism proposals will cut local jobs
STATE Government plans on tourism would jeopardise local jobs and place national parks under threat of devel- opment, according to Jan Barham, the NSW Greens spokeswoman on tourism.
The Visitor Economy Taskforce report was produced by an industry committee in June and aims to double tour- ism income by 2020.
The State Government has just released its response to the report.
Ms Barham said the Government response has some positive strategies for tour- ism. It also supports an increase in the number and length of working visas for travellers and more development in national parks.
While supporting more job training for Australians, the report recommends the Working Holiday Makers Program be expanded by allowing holiday-makers more opportunities to work in tour- ism and hospitality.
The report also supports an increase in the number of countries Australia offers working visas to.
Ms Barham said such changes would only increase the problem experienced in some locations like Byron Bay where locals missed out on-much needed employment in favour of travellers.
"The response by Government also supports cutting red tape for tourism development, but many tourism developments are in sensitive and significant ecological areas," she said.
"It is vital that detailed planning consideration is given to these developments that can pose a risk to biodiversity, community and visitor safety, along with traffic and social impacts."
Ms Barham also noted that while the taskforce report identified that nature was the primary attraction for domestic visitors to NSW, the potential for national park development and the plan to allow amateur hunters access to them would deter visitors.
However, the Government response to the report has been well received by the tourism and hospitality industry.