A State Government Inquiry examining the impact of Coronavirus on Victoria’s tourism and major events sector must conduct a hearing in East Gippsland.
That is the call from Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, who raised the matter in Parliament recently.
“Our local tourism industry suffered the dual impact of the summer fires followed by Coronavirus, and the business operators must be given the opportunity to explain their unique predicament in person,” Mr Bull told Parliament.
“Many of these businesses have not qualified for any of the government supports due to the criteria being too narrow and as a result have received no support.
“It is something that I have raised in this chamber on many, many occasions, so I call on the Minister for Tourism and Major Events to very strongly push for the committee to travel to East Gippsland for a hearing to be held in my electorate,” he said.
“Over the past year I have been contacted regularly by business people who, while trying to recover from the fires, have been hit by the state-wide shutdowns.
“Government supports are announced but they are exasperated to find they do not qualify.
“If we are going to have a serious look at the impacts of Coronavirus on our tourism sector, East Gippsland should be at the very top of the list.
“If this government is really keen to get the answers, we should be the first port of call as there is no other region that has been through what we have been through.
“I have a number of business people who would be prepared to front the inquiry and explain their experiences and hardships, I simply await news a hearing will be held locally, with Lakes Entrance a possible preferred destination.”
Mr Bull said he has also written to committee chair, Mr Enver Erdogan, a Labor MP, to suggest an East Gippsland hearing.
Monday, 12 April 2021