Rod rose in support of the motion regarding the Impact of Covd-19 on the Tourism and events Sector
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (11:45): We have only got 3 minutes to go, so I will quickly run through this. For the last 30 years I worked in the events industry and tourism sector. It is something that I have lived and breathed and it is how my family made a living. We have got skin in the game and we absolutely understand how important it is to Victoria. I think a lot of Victorians do not understand the importance of our tourism sector and our events sector, and I particularly want to talk about the events. We have some magnificent events like the grand prix, like the flower show. People do not understand how big the flower show is. Not only do people fly in from all around Australia, people fly in from around the world to go to our flower show. It is now an international event.
The kick-on from all these things is that people do other things when they come in. I have had a client for the last 25 years who does a major thing through the footy finals, where they fly in 200 people not only from around Australia but also from overseas. While these things are going on, they are doing other things—they are going down the Great Ocean Road, they are going down to see the penguins, they are filling up all our restaurants, and our commercial passenger vehicles are driving them around. I absolutely get the tourism industry because that is how I made a quid over the last 30 years. I love it, and it is incredibly sad to see it in such dire straits.
Rod rose in support of the oppositions motion today.
I just want to quickly touch on the commercial passenger vehicle sector, particularly the hire car industry, which has been decimated with the shutdown. Most of the people in the hire car industry were non-employing sole traders and clearly got diddly squat when it came to any support. They have done no work since March last year. We need to get the tourism and events sector back up and going, and we need to get our taxis and hire cars working as well.
There are events such as the air show; that is a major event here every couple of years. I can certainly remember dealing with international people; in fact a 4-star general came in for the week to do that. The flow-on effects with the other people that come in are absolutely awesome. It is imperative that we have the confidence. We have got to get this industry stable, because the flow-on effect is enormous.