Guest Post – Justinian the Great – Tourism Australia: Holiday On Someone Else’s Dollar!

If you want a measure of how efficient and well prioritised the government of the day is, how much they value your hard earned money before they spend it, and how much they are actually in control of what they are paid and elected to do, then focus your budget analysis on the rats and mice agencies they assume you will never bother to read.

Today I present the case of Tourism Australia. This is a little known agency that pops its head up about once a year or thereabouts to showcase its latest advert offering of cliched cultural cringe that defames Australia everywhere its shown (think Lara Bingle in bikini and cricket pads).

The bottom line is that Tourism Australia employs 215 people across 15 international locations and costs over $174m per year promoting an industry apparently incapable of funding and executing its own marketing and advertising campaigns to attract more paying customers and boost their collective bottom lines.

Of the $174m expended in 2018 less than $24m came from its own sources of revenue and of that just a paltry $12.4m (7%) came from direct industry contributions. Which is to say the Australian taxpayer is funding grandiose marketing and promotion activity the private sector clearly doesn’t value enough to pay out of its own pocket.

Lack of industry support for Tourism Australia is surprising to say the least. According to the 2017/18 Annual Report the return on Tourism Australia’s “marketing investment” is “16-1”. That is one hell of a return. Who knew that the key to government debt and deficit reduction was a simple matter of “investing” heavily into Tourism Australia?

Some might regard a lack of direct industry contributions as a reflection of Tourism Australia performance but  that is definitely not the conclusion of Tourism Australia.

Happily for Tourism Australia, it has set itself key performance indicators which are identical to, and indistinguishable from, total industry performance. Thus if the tourism sector as a whole experiences growth from one year to the next this is entirely attributable to the stellar performance of Tourism Australia.

It would be petty to challenge industry metrics – sorry Tourism Australia metrics – according to inflation, global economic conditions, or currency exchange. For the sake of consistency we can look forward to Tourism Australia owning any economic downturn. Sorry, redundant rhetorical. With returns of 16-1 there will only ever be happy days!

Tourism Australia’s spectacularly high returns on investment can only be put down to its unparalleled expertise in reaching more people than actually populate the planet. That is no easy feat. In the aforementioned annual report it declares that its most recent “Dundee” campaign featuring Chris Hemsworth, “generated significant interest, including reaching more than 9.2 billion people”. You can’t make this stuff up. Sorry, Tourism Australia did.

Tourism Australia has also raised the bar and performed beyond expectations in other areas. Once again referring to its 2017/18 Annual Report, Tourism Australia boasts:

“We have achieved strong workforce diversity – 73 per cent of our workforce is female, 67 per cent of our Executive Leadership team is female, 52 per cent of our Global Leadership team is female, and 2 per cent of staff members in our head office in Sydney are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.”

Indeed it has. If that’s not diversity I don’t know what is. In coming years Tourism Australia hopes to become even more diverse such no males will be employed (with perhaps the honourable exception of an indigenous gentleman, assuming no indigenous females apply).

Tourism Australia has also led the way in closing the gender pay gap. Its Executive Leadership team being 67% female took home an average salary of $450,000 last financial year. If only the private sector could match this performance.

Tourism Australia is also performing magnificently in terms of reducing its environmental footprint and most importantly its carbon emissions. Headquartered at 420 George Street, Sydney it enjoys A grade prime real estate at A grade priced leases, but this high cost is offset by its planet saving 5 star NABERS rating, just going to show that the cost of inaction on climate change is more than the price of office luxury.

Of course its planet saving endeavours don’t stop there. Despite a corporate plan designed to encourage millions of people to fly long haul to Australia with all the aviation fuel that that entails, it is nonetheless also committed to reducing carbon emissions by . . . . drum roll please . . . . ensuring the use of “double-sided printing and copying as the default setting on all printers and photocopiers”, and, “Ensuring contract cleaners checked that recyclable materials were not contaminated by food waste” (p.104 Annual Report, 2017/18).

Tourism Australia also achieves top marks (self-assessment) in terms of advancing indigenous employment prospects and closing the gap. Not only are 4 employees out of 215 indigenous, it is hopeful of achieving 6 (hence beating the KPI of 3%) in the near future, not least through its ground breaking Indigenous Cadetship Support program.

This program offers students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people cadetships at Tourism Australia while they complete their tertiary studies.

Let’s hope Maddy Wright who featured in the 2017/18 Annual Report (p.96) as one of two indigenous cadets in 2018 will go on to great things at Tourism Australia and in the process strengthen further the workplace diversity that makes Tourism Australia such a great place to work.

In conclusion, Tourism Australia represents a colossal waste of tax payer funds. If it adds value to the private tourism sector then let them quantify it and pay for it directly. It is lunacy that taxpayer funds subsidise the advertising and marketing expenses of the chosen few who arguably don’t even value it.

It’s performance is unmeasurable – if you discount the most obvious metric being a lack of fee paying private enterprises that are said to benefit 16-1 for every dollar Tourism Australia spends  – or totally absurd like its claims to be reaching 9bn people out of a world population less than 8!

The organisation promotes diversity by eliminating it, and its environmental posturing flies in the face of its flying customers! This is an organisation with zero self-awareness playing in a space that requires an awareness of customers!

Drain the billabong starting with Tourism Australia. We can save $150m per year, not to mention salvage some national pride by preventing its embarrassing “product” (I use the term lightly) from being distributed around the world.

Any government that funds Tourism Australia is a government not serious about fiscal discipline, has no sense of priorities, no respect for tax payers, no idea about markets and no consistency in saving the world from carbon emissions.

One down. A hundred more to follow. I hope I inspire others to follow the rats and mice!

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46 Responses to Guest Post – Justinian the Great – Tourism Australia: Holiday On Someone Else’s Dollar!

  1. Just remember that each of the states have their own tourism organisations as well, that also advertise to potential overseas customers.

  2. RobK

    I have always thought tourism sbould be just a small consideration of DFAT to facilitate the industry.
    Further, I think the best way to promote tourism is to have a thriving economy generally. Internal tourism feeds off economic prosperity best. Foreign tourism feeds off internal tourism best. Tourism thrives in a bustling economy. I cringe when I hear the claim that tourism can drag an economy out of a downturn. Get the economy humming and they will come in droves to see the action. Tourism is a parasitic industry; people want to come to see what’s happening.

  3. Win

    What a waste of money when ClimateChange enthusiasts and James Cook University are discouraging tourists by trumpeting to the world that The Great Barrier Reef is dying with great swaths already dead .

  4. Suburban Boy

    Jussie, thanks for reminding us of that great ad with Lara Bingle.

    BTW – She isn’t wearing cricket pads, only a bikini.

  5. Nob

    RobK
    Get the economy humming and they will come in droves to see the action.

    Not quite.

    For most Northern hemisphere folk, Australia is , to quote Dr Johnson on The Giants Causeway, “worth seeing, but not worth going to see”

    But they’ll come to work and do business if the economy offers opportunities, and when they’re in Australia, they’ll spend cash looking around.

    As well, cashed up locals will spend.

    There is, or was, a fair bit of goodwill from Working Holiday Visa “backpackers” who dream of returning to the scenes of their carefree youth.

    Probably less of that as the country continues down the path of a tax gouging wowser nanny state. That’s without doubt the #1 thing I hear UK tourists complain about after visiting Australia.

  6. tombell

    didn’t ScoMo have a gig with this mob once upon a time? Probably tells you all you need to know about him.
    BTW the fact that getting rid of blokes big time is trumpeted loud and clear as a plus also tells you (in case you needed telling) the current trajectory in this increasingly pox ridden country of ours.

  7. struth

    As somebody who worked in tourism when we indeed had a tourist industry (the 1990’s), when large companies had massive add campaigns now never mentioned, from AAT Kings and Australian Pacific and other, then, big tourism names, I watched the onslaught of the government tourist bodies grow and destroy the industry.
    If you think a high exchange rate was a problem, why wasn’t it before the government takeover of the industry?
    This article doesn’t discuss quality versus non quality tourism, German, American versus Chinese, for example, and I can assure you that without even looking, just like the BoM statistics, theirs do not stand up to scrutiny.
    For example, they only compare back to the year 2000 for starters.
    Secondly, if you go for a coffee, then according to these arseholes, the person serving you works in the tourism industry and a tourist is what you are if you leave your suburb to buy it.
    They’d already killed the industry by then.
    But who but us older folk know this, and who listens to us?
    So much to say about this, and besides them ruining mine and many others lives who climbed up the ladder in our prime, of an industry they destroyed, the general hate they held for Australia, and the wish to promote it as they’re yuppy left wing view demanded, meant wineries cycling and food, and an unhealthy obsession with the black armband view of history.
    They bored people out of Australia, and them and their mates strangled it to death with regulation and litigation.

    Chink groups coming over here buying t shirts from chink owned shops and eating in chink owned restaurants is not quality tourism.
    It’s not even tourism.
    It’s a disaster.

  8. Ellen of Tasmania

    Great post, thank you.

    I wish the high-breeding ‘rats and mice’ agencies would become a big topic during the election cycle. But I suppose that requires the MSM to take notice …..

    The fur lies in one direction and establishment-MSM won’t brush it up.

  9. Crossie

    This reminds me of that ad some years ago run by the Finance Department about its young and stupid staff in an effort to attract more young and stupid staff.

    Anywhere that advertises itself as a great place to work doesn’t deserve public money.

  10. Crossie

    Ellen of Tasmania
    #2986503, posted on April 13, 2019 at 8:21 am
    Great post, thank you.

    I wish the high-breeding ‘rats and mice’ agencies would become a big topic during the election cycle. But I suppose that requires the MSM to take notice …..

    The fur lies in one direction and establishment-MSM won’t brush it up.

    Of course the media people wouldn’t dream of ruffling those feathers, they probably hope to be hired by these agencies particularly when they pay much better than media companies.

  11. duncanm

    think Lara Bingle in bikini and cricket pads

    sorry,what were you saying? I got distracted

  12. Chris M

    Chink groups coming over here buying t shirts from chink owned shops and eating in chink owned restaurants is not quality tourism.

    Indeed, they only deal with their own. As an Aus you are free to employ them, they will not employ you.

  13. duncanm

    Excellent post TAFKAS — I hope this is first in a series, but I suspect that may take a *long* time to get through.

  14. BrettW

    Strong “workforce diversity” always means the organisation is willing to discriminate against males to justify hiring females at higher ratio. No surprise as the Diversity Council is almost exclusively female.

    Look how well that worked at HMAS Albatrosd where workforce diversity meant the RAN could not march in an ANZAC day parade. At the same time they opened up the whole organisation to ridicule.

    PS average income $450,000 !! Another example of the gender pay gap I guess.

  15. Mark M

    Flying represents freedom, fun and progress.
    It boosts the economy and can provide precious travel opportunities.

    If Barack Obama takes a private jet and has a 14-vehicle entourage to get to a climate change conference, or a celebrity weeps for the climate while rocking a huge carbon footprint, it doesn’t go down well.

    And if future laws are introduced to reduce flying because of climate change, it looks essential that politicians will have to visibly reduce their flying habits, too.

    https://theconversation.com/climate-change-yes-your-individual-action-does-make-a-difference-115169

    Future laws?

    There is a future?

    Worst apocalypse. Ever.

  16. mundi

    The sad part is that the people of Australia don’t really understand this. We all seem to know that government and taxation is growing faster than the econonmy, but no one points to the organisations like Toursism Australia who are sucking down the money into black holes.

    It is absolutely dispicable that so much money is earned by so few for doing nothing than authorisings some TV ads. This is even worse than ABC spending.

  17. Indeed, they only deal with their own. As an Aus you are free to employ them, they will not employ you.

    That isn’t true. I know of many Chinese small business owners that employ non-Chinese staff.

  18. Perth Trader

    Quick ‘back of the beer coaster’ maths . 8.8 million tourists visit Aust…$174 mill spent by tourism aust = $19.77 per tourist. If each tourist only spends $500 thats not a bad return.

  19. JB of Sydney/Shanghai

    The Chinese business owners of my aquaintance employ both Chinese and Westerners. They seem to have little interest in the race of their employees, being very strongly focused on the employee being capable of earning the business a dollar. On enthusiasm for diversity, gender balance etc, not so much.

  20. RobK

    PT,
    If each tourist only spends $500 thats not a bad return.
    You have not established that there is a link between said expenditure and return. Also, who gains, who pays?

  21. Adelagado

    ” Its Executive Leadership team took home an average salary of $450,000 “

    If only that was a misprint, but I fear it is not. What I fool I was for being self employed for most of my working life. (Average wage, probably about 1/10th of the above).

    But its another example of how Sydney and NSW is the great sponge of tax payer dollars from around the nation. How profitable it has been for Sydney to have had Canberra as a rural city of NSW for over a 100 years! (Adelaide and Hobart, the so-called ‘mendicant cities’ have nothing on Sydney in the tax hoovering dept.)

  22. max

    That isn’t true. I know of many Chinese small business owners that employ non-Chinese staff.

    True. I live in an area now 50% Mandarin speaking. Chinese uber eats everywhere. One lone Middle East hold out in the shopping centre, but every other business is staffed by Chinese. The prevailing attitude is that Aussies are mugs.

  23. kc

    Written like an economist and clearly not from an insiders perspective. So to TA, TQ and various RTO’s and how “our” (my) industry works. Maybe even in some numbers an “economist” can look over. I will preface this post having just returned from a trade mission to China, in part hosted by TQ (Tourism Queensland) our RTO (Regional Tourism organisation) and visiting the TA offices in Shanghai. So as an industry of generally small players, we contribute (or should) 4% of gross to marketing. This sits within a spread in my particular sector of 35% wages (including on costs) 8% rent, 35 % COG, 7% power and services, 4% marketing 10% GST, and now I am 99 cents in the dollar down and have not yet dealt with repairs and maintenance, cleaning chemicals, payroll tax, rubbish removal and fees/charges and compliance costs. Nor have i paid my accountant, serviced any cap ex or, god forbid made a profit. We are, typically a money churn industry who employs people. Lots of people. Again, by way of comparison I sat at an industry round table with Government a few years ago as they sought ideas for investment which would generate jobs. One proposal was a $150M ethanol plant in Mackay, which, when fully operational would employ 30 people. I have 55 staff with a cap ex of less than $2M. We create jobs. I always like mad uncle Bob’s line about you make it, you mine it, you grow it or you show it…..everything else feeds of these 4 pillars. Well, we don’t make shit anymore, the greens are trying hard to make sure we don’t mine things either, which leaves tourism and agriculture. Anyhow, back to the theme. Without the likes of TA and TQ opening doors to the mainstream players in the B2B and B2C travel industry little operators would find it impossible to get in the door. Again, by way of example and the sheer size of the industry in China (and they want to deal with Australian companies and have Australian experiences) I visited 1 travel company, in their head office in Shanghai, where 25,000 employee come to work every day….25,000, 1 office. Without the likes of TA and TQ we would not even get past security. They provide not only the access, but the logistics, the support staff so that relatively small operators can gain access to and hopefully drive business, not just to their own venue but to Australian destinations. I note the expectation that these organisations should be spending money on “advertising”, no, this is not their role. It is to give industry the opportunity to advertise. An event called ATE (Australian Tourism Exchange) has just been held in Perth. Again a long running TA program which brings many of the worlds leading travel companies to Australia, from all over the world, to see our industry and talk to operators, who, pay their own way to be there. I am sure, like any department you choose to cast and economists eye over things could be done more efficiently but at the end of the day, we are competing with the world, often with 1 hand tied behind our backs, paying amongst if not the highest wages and input costs in the World and struggling like shit to keep the doors open, the lights on and the staff paid. So, de-fund TA and the state and regional bodies?. Be
    careful what you wish for. The GST, taxation generally (across every tax they throw at us) and international exchange income generated from our industry makes the Governments “investment” in promoting tourism money well spent, in my no doubt biased opinion. I am sure there are plenty of “rats and mice” departments that spend money without any meaningful return to the country and in terms of jobs per dollar of capital investment, no industry does what we do. Was it Saint Bernard of Clairuax….The road to ruin is paved with good intent!

  24. True. I live in an area now 50% Mandarin speaking.

    Do the other half speak Cantonese?

    I live in Australia and the Chinese, and other Asians, running businesses speak English and employ locals.

  25. Behind Enemy Lines

    The trouble with this sort of analysis is that it’s predicated on the belief that government agencies are created to achieve whatever it is they’re named after. However, apart from the few senior departments (Treasury, Defence, Foreign Affairs, which have their own terrible incentives, problems and shortcomings), this is not the case.

    On the rare day when one of the other agencies achieves its supposed mission, that’s purely coincidental. For the most part, you could task them tomorrow with preventing whatever it is they’re supposed to be achieving today, and you wouldn’t see any difference.

    That’s because government agencies are actually in place for entirely different reasons:

    * to create the need for Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries (ie using public funds to shore up political support within party factions)

    * to create the opportunity for government graft (government funds that can be given to mates and allies, or used to punish political enemies)

    * a vehicle for political hobbyhorses (eg Kim Carr and his idiotic, decades-long firehose of public money directed onto the TCF and automotives industries)

    * a home for left-wing maaaaaaates shoehorned without real competition wildly-overpaid senior SES roles, where they can help frustrate Coalition government mandates and stop conservatives from being promoted in the mid-grades

    * a way to reward loyal service from local ALP branch members, through corrupt recruitment and promotions in mid-grade jobs in Canberra

    * maybe to advance the public interest, but only after all those above have been looked after

    The great majority of public servants only benefit from this incidentally. They’re smart, they work hard, do their best to deliver what’s asked of them, and in the lower grades get the occasional promotion based on merit. But neither daddy nor mummy nor the local member nor their maaaaaate is there to arrange the gift of a public job at $140k a year.

    Anyway, the simple truth is that you could eliminate 80% of public service agencies and jobs. It would make no difference whatsoever to whatever goals these agencies are ostensibly created to achieve. And it would relieve the taxpayer of billion upon billion in wasted spending.

    I learned this the hard way. It’s why I post as ‘Behind Enemy Lines’.

  26. Adelagado

    I live in Australia and the Chinese, and other Asians, running businesses speak English and employ locals.

    I don’t think the Chinese in my area employ any non-Chinese. But I don’t care. They are mainly family businesses and they work hard. And I don’t worry about them trying to blow me up.

  27. I’m all for slashing and burning as much government as possible, but this post by Jussie is ignorant to the max.
    Our federal and state tourism bureaucracies may be inefficient, but that’s a different problem to claiming they should be shut down.
    As KC states at #2986688, posted on April 13, 2019 at 11:18 am, these bureaucracies exist to establish contacts and open doors for THE PRIVATE SECTOR to get a toe hold in foreign lands. Our location also makes this a very difficult task. There are countless exotic destinations much closer and cheaper to where the bulk of the World’s population lives.

    From an investment point of view, the feds get 25% of every dollar spent in this economy. Tourism Australia would need to generate around $700m to break even. I think it achieves this in a canter.
    Come up with ideas to make this office more efficient, but cutting off ones nose to spite ones face is no strategy.

  28. Regarding various comments about the Chinese in Australia.

    * They work hard and educate their kids
    * THEY DON’T DEMAND WE CHANGE FOR THEM. They adjust to our culture even if they do keep to themselves by and large.
    * Studies have been done (Thomas Sowell chief among them), wherever the Chinese migrate and settle, they are a net plus to the economy and education levels WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

    I rather have TEN Chinese immigrants than one Muzzie. (And I’m a Muzzie immigrant meself)

  29. Behind Enemy Lines

    Baa Humbug
    #2986742, posted on April 13, 2019 at 12:11 pm
    Our federal and state tourism bureaucracies may be inefficient, but that’s a different problem to claiming they should be shut down. . . . Come up with ideas to make this office more efficient, but cutting off ones nose to spite ones face is no strategy.

    Nah. Shut them down. Shut them down before they bankrupt Australia.

    Sure, government agencies invariably have the occasional (wildly over-hyped) victory. And from time to time someone’s small business will manage to dip a cup into the river of government gold.

    But that’s no counter-argument, not when you look at the size of the overall tax drain on Australia. Plus the regulatory burden that comes with too many public sector busybodies creating work for each other and everyone else. In the public sector I outlined above, being ‘efficient’ simply means getting more tax dollars to spend, and bigger empires to spend it, and sticking more fingers into more private sector pies.

    The problem Australia has (and we’re not alone) is that everyone has already paid so much money into the system that they’re desperate not to lose what little they get back out of the system.

    In other words, we’re all hoping to get out of the Ponzi Scheme before it goes down.

    As a small business, that’s not the way to bet.

    The only way to beat it is to go behind enemy lines.

    Or do what one can to slash the public sector back to pure essentials.

    [Yes, I know: “good luck with that“.]

  30. Entropy

    The point of these qangos is to provide a bolt hole for ex Politicians, staffers and fellow travellers when they otherwise have to go to the sin bin for some indiscretion, or because the voters got sick of them.

    And they get supported by the naive who think because I have all these massive costs Imposed by shortsighted politicians (see KC) I have a right to vast sums of OPM to fund such black holes. Never pondering if it could be done without paying average executives salaries of $450k located in prime real estate

  31. J.H.

    Back in the Nineties they started doing this to our Australian Fishing industries….. “Marketing”. They would “Market” our Industry and we would pay a levy for the privilege. “Win, win”, they said.

    A decade and a half later…. Our industry was gone. Bureaucratized into non existence to “Save the Reef”, while our “Marketeers” helped them transition that “change”, while switching to the Tourist industry to use as a cash cow.

    In the end we had a Fisheries bureaucracy that consumed more tax money than the Industry could generate…. We fishermen were no longer free enterprise entities, we were now just quasi employees of Fishing legislation and its Bureaucracies, but we had to take all the risks for increasingly fewer rewards. You could start the day a Fisherman and by evening be a criminal without even knowing about it.

    I think they modeled their methodology on our Industry, which they now use to usurp Private Enterprise everywhere.

    Once upon a time in Free Enterprise, you were the master of your own universe pursuing your own ambitions….. Not so now. We are taxslaves to the ambitions of a political class. They seem quite proud about it too.

  32. NB

    kc at #2986688, posted on April 13, 2019 at 11:18 am says:
    ‘now I am 99 cents in the dollar down and have not yet dealt with repairs and maintenance, cleaning chemicals, payroll tax, rubbish removal and fees/charges and compliance costs. Nor have i paid my accountant, serviced any cap ex or, god forbid made a profit.’
    Ok, so every industry that operates at what seems to be an enormous loss should be supported by the taxpayer.
    More generally, my first suggestion is for Tourism Australia to add to its payroll some QA people to handle some of the issues raised. After that, this high power organisation should expand to other industries. Imagine what it could have done for the car industry – 16:1, an Australian market of 40 million people, all that. What about promoting windmills? Would make Don Quixote look like Rocinante.

  33. Bruce in WA

    Just spent a day in Key West as a pure tourist. We were being somewhat frugal, but even so, today saw us hand over c. USD$250 for a return coach trip, lunch, a rum distillery tour, and a narrated hop-on, hop-off coach tour. And nowhere was the heavy hand of government apparent. The town is driven by free enterprise, and it works. BTW, fabulous place but hell’s teeth, 3.5 hours each way in a coach just to get there? Spare me!

  34. Behind Enemy Lines

    J.H.
    #2986816, posted on April 13, 2019 at 1:35 pm
    . . . A decade and a half later…. Our industry was gone.

    I said above that one could reverse the goals of most agencies, and it would make no difference. I forgot to mention the agencies that (deliberately?) perpetuate and intensify the problems they’re meant to be solving.

    For example, anything they do ‘for’ Aboriginal Australia gives the problem wings and then flies it over the ochre horizon.

    Anything they do to support ‘innovation’ or ‘industry policy’ is the public sector equivalent of handing someone a rubber crutch and then billing them for it.

    Of late, anything they do to ‘promote’ energy . . . makes me want to clamp a (rhetorical) electrode to their policy gonads.

    I pity any industry that strikes the fancy of a busybody bureaucrat. You’ll get more help than you can hope to survive.

  35. jupes

    Regarding various comments about the Chinese in Australia.

    * They work hard and educate their kids
    * THEY DON’T DEMAND WE CHANGE FOR THEM. They adjust to our culture even if they do keep to themselves by and large.
    * Studies have been done (Thomas Sowell chief among them), wherever the Chinese migrate and settle, they are a net plus to the economy and education levels WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

    I rather have TEN Chinese immigrants than one Muzzie. (And I’m a Muzzie immigrant meself)

    So would I.

    However the problem with the Chinks is that a large percentage of them remain loyal to China while having enough numbers (or money) to influence our politics. Early indications of things heading that way are that a Chinese company owns the port of Darwin and we now have “Confucius” (Chicom propaganda) centers in our universities.

  36. kc

    So as an industry generating income, particulrly foreign 3xchange income for government aka taxpayers, is money invested in maintaining or even growing that revenue stream actually costing taxpayers money? Just suppose the tap was turned off. No TA , no state or regional tourism bodies ( in large part government funded) what would be the end nett result. I would suggest the loss of tax reciepts would far outweight the $175M annual spend. Like it or not goverments are also “in business”…should they follow the same rules many expect private businesses to and invest in their profit centre, or just be spounges, hovering up an albeit take from a shirking pot if this industry fails. You would be amazed at how much airports spend supporting tourism marketing, even though nobody fly to an airport, to see the airport itself. 3rd party benifits.

  37. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    you make it, you mine it, you grow it or you show it…..everything else feeds of these 4 pillars. Well, we don’t make shit anymore, the greens are trying hard to make sure we don’t mine things either, which leaves tourism and agriculture.

    Greens are set to destroy both tourism (Barrier Reef ‘ruin’ multiplied by everywhere, and carbon kms bad) and agriculture (methane farters axed, all of us obligatory vegans eating insect shit).

    Back in the real world, we’ll still need to keep some tourism industry and I take the point made above abut the ROI and some usefulness being served. I’d keep some, not all, of the Govt Agencies open but pay fewer of them, and pay less to the ones we kept (overfed and underworked fat cats can diet and do something useful). Also get some industry heavies to cough up for organizing some of the useful contacts and intro’s. Improve the advertising (no more cringeworthy where the bloody hell are you?) and go for the high end high paying tourists who would never respond to crass ads like that. Sell ‘destination’ life cycle catered events – weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, romances, kids’ education meet ups, in accommodation and venues that are both interesting and fully contemporary (all gadgetry built in). Sell Western Culture and Civilisation in great big dollops with special events laid on too. ‘British’ heritage sells well in Asia. Trying to be too ‘Australian’ in folksy terms may not work as well as claiming a rightful place as a high end special part of the Anglosphere, where lifestyle is very friendly, super-smart and easy, laid back but cultivated, in an ancient country with endless vistas to explore preferably by private plane.

  38. Behind Enemy Lines

    kc
    #2986897, posted on April 13, 2019 at 3:30 pm
    Just suppose the tap was turned off. . . . I would suggest the loss of tax receipts would far outweigh the $175m annual spend.

    Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare
    #2986912, posted on April 13, 2019 at 3:44 pm
    Back in the real world, we’ll still need to keep some tourism industry and I take the point made above about the ROI and some usefulness being served.

    Every non-core government agency I’ve ever dealt with makes the same argument about generating more benefits than they cost the taxpayer. And every agency has the data to prove it.

    Of course, it’s all lies. Complete pull-it-out-of-their-bum lies. Comes from the exact same place as their ‘evidence-based policy’.

    If government agency annual reports were audited by ASIC, every SES officer in the country would be wearing the orange jumpsuit by 30 June 2020.

    With a few rare exceptions (eg the Future Fund and various RBA functions), government has no business taking money by force from taxpayers and then ‘investing’ it in hope of making some sort of return. Especially some sort of return that accrues to private industry. Talk about socialising the costs and capitalising the gains.

    There is a (weak) basis for government intervention abroad to encourage foreign spending and investment: when there’s an information deficit. In other words, when overseas investors, businesses or tourists are unable to get a true picture of the local situation. But Australia hasn’t had a problem with that since the internet took off.

    Cut the public service back to core government functions. Shut down the rest of the agencies. Leave the money in the pockets of the people who earn it.

    Simple.

    Not easy, but simple

  39. Squirrel

    “The bottom line is that Tourism Australia employs 215 people across 15 international locations and costs over $174m ”

    I imagine it would be most instructive to look at the growth in the staffing and budgets of these “small” government organisations over time – perhaps a snapshot every five years going back to whenever they were created.

    The growth in budgets, compared to CPI, would probably be a real shocker, and it might be fascinating to discover how many of these specialist outfits were ostensibly set up for a relatively short term – to deal with a supposedly temporary problem – but have nonetheless managed to survive and expand, and expand, and expand……

    Anyway, it’s all been downhill since Hoges.

  40. Tim Neilson

    The prevailing attitude is that Aussies are mugs.

    Well in the last decade or thereabouts approximately half of us have voted for KRudd, TLS and Mick Trumble.

  41. There are many more departments like this. Worse, some of these bureaucrats have their own agenda, one which does not match Australian interests.

  42. There are many more departments like this. Worse, some of these bureaucrats have their own agenda, one which does not match Australian interests.

  43. Jimf

    Thanks for this post.The $bn’s pissed away each yr on peripheral, life “un” changing NGO’s & PS agencies is eye watering. If anyone really thinks the LP are fiscal conservatives they haven’t being paying attention.

  44. Jimf

    $450k p.a ave salaries. Let that sink in…I’ll have $100 bucks that the majority of these 200+ spongers are <30 yo,white, privileged ,private school educated know-alls who regularly lecture us on social media,hypocritically hating on themselves. Little “Zali’s”.

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