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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More support needed for regional tourism: report

source: ABC News

A new parliamentary report says regional tourism needs extra support in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The House of Representatives report released today has investigated the impact of the world economic downturn on regional Australia.

A total of 170 submissions were received from welfare agencies, small business, the National Farmers Federation and councils including Griffith, Urana, Tamworth, Gunnedah and Moree Plains.

Most cited a big fall in income, losses on investments and difficult trading circumstances.

The committee chairwoman, Catherine King, says it is clear additional support is needed in some areas.

"So we've made some recommendations around certainly some capacity building in local communities, better coordination of federal government services so that people at the local level can actually take advantage of programs as they come up," she said.

"We've also obviously called for the extension of some Federal Government programs in which there's funding, particularly in the tourism portfolio."

Ms King says the financial crisis has hurt regional communities reliant on income from overseas visitors.

She says regions that support only a couple of industry sectors are also struggling to bounce back.

"If they were not sufficiently diverse they had been knocked about quite a bit by the global financial crisis and we do know that nationally unemployment figures are continuing to rise," she said.

"In regional communities it's been exacerbated where there is just one large employer, but in others it's just been a slow bleeding of jobs in smaller communities as well."
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