Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No tourism and no Department of Youth either?

With more than half the Abbott cabinet aged over 55 it should not surprise that there is no Department of Youth in the new ministry. With an apparent policy to rationalise ministerial names and responsibilities there is also no specific tourism minister. As reported in the Gold Coast Bulletin tourism responsibility is to be split between domestic and international:
TONY Abbott's decision to axe the role of a dedicated federal tourism minister has raised eyebrows, with a Gold Coast industry leader describing the move as "alarming".

The Prime Minister-elect chose not to name a tourism minister in the cabinet line-up announced yesterday.

Gold Coast Tourism boss Martin Winter said that the absence was alarming.

The portfolio's responsibilities will be split between Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, who will deal with international tourism, and Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane, who will look after domestic tourism.

I'm not sure on the rationale or coherence of this split? Scott Morrison is also in the cabinet with a CV which includes a stint at TA responsible for the disastrous Lara Bingle campaign. In recognition of this skill for restricting visitation to Australia he retains responsibility for the inbound ultra-budget cruise sector.

Abbott also allocated a “very important advocacy role” to Warren Entsch as chair of a special committee for development of northern Australia. What form or role this committee will take in the proposed white paper is unclear. Observing Entsch's performance on the parliamentary strata insurance committee and previously on the board of collapsed CEC leaves me doubtful that he is either competent or appropriate for the role, and fearful of even more populist nonsense on this topic.

The coalition spokesman for northern Australia had been the well credentialed and respected Senator Ian McDonald from Townsville who has clearly been gutted at missing any position evident by an emotional and widely reported facebook post: "What should have been one of the proudest days in my life has turned into one of the worst".

Update: Opinion at Politically homeless from Andrew Elder who describes himself as fully recovered from being an active Liberal:
Why was Warren Entsch dumped as Chief Whip? Along with the dumping of Senator Ian Macdonald from the front bench, you might assume that Abbott has something against far north Queensland. This is going to make it hard for the government to demonstrate that it's big on developing the deep north.

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