Accommodation industry head Michael Johnson has had high-level pre-Budget engagement with Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers in Sydney where he raised a number of key issues affecting the struggling sector.
Mr Johnson, CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia and interim CEO of the Accommodation Association, met with the Treasurer and other business leaders at the Park Hyatt on Thursday, April 27.
“Our industry is only just now starting to get back on its feet after the devastation of COVID – from the ever-present staffing shortages to spiralling energy costs, the price of goods and interest rate rises,” Mr Johnson said.
“We are not out of the woods yet by any means and it was great to have the chance to raise these issues one-on-one with the Treasurer and get such a good hearing.
“Mr Chalmers has an impressive knowledge of the problems facing hospitality and accommodation and I thanked him for the opportunity to have a direct talk to him on issues concerning members in the lead-up to the Budget.”
Mr Johnson said TAA/AA had raised a number of issues in its pre-Budget submission to the Federal Government including:
- The temporary Hotel and Accommodation industry labour agreement to be made on-going.
- Expedited visa applications for workers.
- International students working in hospitality being permitted to continue working up to 30 hours a week until 30 June 2024.
- Support for business events in regional areas.
- The Skilling Australians Funds (SAF) levy be refunded in cases where a skilled migration application is unsuccessful.
- More support for domestic tourism and the return of international travellers.
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