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Small Business, Hospitality and Events – Tourism Accreditation

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 23 November 2020

Tags: Tourism

Dr WOODRUFF - I have some questions for tourism.

Ms COURTNEY - I am not the tourism minister. You'll have to speak to the Premier.

Dr WOODRUFF - I can't talk about accreditation for tourism small businesses? I don't understand.

Ms COURTNEY - If we get this done you'll be able to sneak into the other one for a bonus hour.

Dr WOODRUFF - You can't talk about small business operators who are required to become members of the Tourism Industry Council. Why can't you talk about that?

Ms COURTNEY - Because we're talking about accreditation for a peak body that's under a different minister's responsibility. That's a matter for the minister responsible. I can't talk about government policy with regard to tourism businesses and what happens with regard to their industry associations.

Dr WOODRUFF - Okay but you could talk about the fact that small businesses are unhappy about the fact they're forced to be accredited and they feel that it reflects badly on the type of business that they're trying to operate and that a small group of businesses has broken away, refusing to become accredited.

You mightn't talk about the accreditation process, I accept that, but it is concerning that there are businesses now in Tasmania that feel it's operating against bottom line to be forced to become a member of the Tourism Industry Council.

CHAIR - Dr Woodruff, I understand that there's a bit of grey between portfolios but I think this one pretty clearly sits outside of this particular section of the Estimates so I ask you to move on.

Dr WOODRUFF - Could I just ask the minister whether she will be reaching out to have conversations with small businesses who want to be able to better reflect the clean, green brand that they trade under?

Ms COURTNEY - With regard to accreditation of tourism businesses, that's a matter for the minister responsible for tourism.

Dr WOODRUFF - You don't have anything to do in your portfolio with small businesses that happen to work in the tourism area?

Ms COURTNEY - I have a lot to do with businesses across tourism, hospitality, events, mining, forestry, retail - the breadth of businesses - but regarding accreditation of a business if, for example, if you are asking me about accreditation for a small forestry business, the minister responsible for resources would be best placed to answer that. If it's regarding a specific industry accreditation or regulation, that's best dealt by the responsible minister.

Dr WOODRUFF - I don't want you to talk about that. Your door would be open to hear concerns from small business operators who feel that they're not being fairly dealt with by another department in terms of the impact it has on their business?

Ms COURTNEY - My door is open to all small businesses in Tasmania. We've got a wide range of businesses, they've got unique and varied challenges and opportunities - not just through COVID 19, but ordinarily we have very diverse regional areas and as a government we have worked hard with the breadth of businesses. I know the Minister for State Growth, Mr Ferguson, has done an enormous body of work, along with Stuart Clues, the Red Tape Reduction Coordinator, to make sure we are looking across government at how we can reduce red tape. All ministers are always looking at how we can make sure that Tasmania is a good place for businesses to be able to operate. While I am minister for Small Business, my colleagues all work hard to ensure that businesses within their areas of responsibility feel supported.