Penalty rate cuts for Arts+Rec, not F&B

Tourism groups have largely welcomed the Productivity Commission’s 23rd Feb 2017 cut to Sunday penalty rates, but restaurant and cafe operators have been left at square one – there is no cut to penalty rates in restaurants and cafes, or in clubs. More details – and an explainer – here. Continue reading

Tourism News Headlines


Brain-eating virus causes lake closure; thanks AGL

Photo and caption from Photo from Central Coast Fly Rodders’ Club. A major tourism lake in NSW’ famous Hunter Valley has been poisoned, resulting in the closure of the lake. Gas corporation AGL, who have a significant plant on the edge of NSW’ Lake Liddell, have closed the lake to swimmers after a brain-eating amoeba was found. Tourism operators on the shore of the lake are expected to just fend for themselves with no explanation or compensation offered for the poisoning. Continue reading


RSL sub-branches close whilst group sits on millions

The Returned and Services Leagues Clubs (RSLs) of NSW are rolling in money, but precious little is being spent on veterans. Some NSW state sub-branches sit on millions of dollars in assets, especially property assets, because they don’t trust higher levels with their money, whilst the RSL nationally is legally a charity. Meanwhilst, multiple RSL Sub-branches close because they lack the legal expertise and funding to fight property battles. The iconic Five Islands RSL at Speers Point NSW – a treasured venue on the shores of NSW’ Lake Macquarie – sold in 2014 for just over $1m, a figure which barely buys a house on the shores of Lake Macquarie. Continue reading


Veganism is getting the crowds in

Veganism is often considered a hippy pursuit. But the results are in – visitors, especially city people visiting regional towns – love options, and Castlemaine in Victoria is attracting crowds based on its animal-friendly practises. Nikki Medwell, pictured above, is able to run an animal shelter on the funds raised by her vegan B&B. Continue reading


Qantas Chairman’s Club: ‘priceless’ gift to MPs

Australia’s democracy requires that all elected officials use a Gifts and Benefits Register, to ensure that business and individuals can’t buy favouritism. The ABC has revealed that Qantas has given parliamentarians ‘money-can’t-buy’ access to its Chairman’s Lounges, in which free everything, free upgrades and double hospitality service staffing are at the feet of the majority of Australia’s major-party MPs. Continue reading


Albany Premier Hotel burnt down by licensee

Another tourism operator has burnt down his own hotel in an apparent insurance job, but with a twist – he tried to stage a robbery excuse too, complete with fake CCTV footage. Licensee Graeme Cooper is alleged to have done extensive damage by arson to the historic Albany Premier Hotel in WA. Four other people – accomplices – were charged before Cooper was. Continue reading


No Plan B for bus driver with broken arm

A heroic Greyhound bus driver avoided a more serious accident after a cow drove through his coach’s windscreen. Isolated, the man drove with a broken arm to seek medical help, the NT News reports. Continue reading


RSL board being paid off with development $$$

If you felt that RSLs have had more focus on profit than on veterans, you’re right. The ABC has revealed that the RSL federal president, along with three other board members, have been paid together $300k a year for at least three years from the RSL’s billion-dollar nursing home development offshoot, RSL LifeCare. The NSW board members’ positions at least are prohibited from councillors taking what it calls ‘a position of profit’ within the organisation. Continue reading


Complete plastic bag ban edging closer

South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT have all banned single use plastic bags. Now a Great Barrier Reef town in Queensland are taking their own council-lead initiative to ban the bag – and local people, including the supermarket, are on deck. Continue reading


Backpacker tax could lead to major IR reform

Instead of charging backpackers 32.5% tax, the federal government now propose charging them 17.5% from the first dollar overall – and hitting their arse on the way out with a $5 departure tax. Nick Xenophon has proposed that Australia’s unemployed may be better suited to pick fruit – and being that Xenophon’s crossbenchers and Pauline Hanson’s quintessentially regional constituents will benefit, the major parties are pricking up their ears. Continue reading


Regional airports need red tape cut for tourism

Entrepreneur and aviator Dick Smith has said that regional airports will continue to suffer unless red tape is cut allowing private jets and helicopters to more easily access the regions. Continue reading

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