Premier Gladys Berejiklians office was asked if NSW was consulted over which regions would receive the tourism subsidy but did not wish to comment.
Speaking at Sydneys domestic airport on Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said tourism was strong in regional NSW because of the internal travel, and the returning strength of the Australian economy.
You couldnt get a hotel in Orange over the summer break, he said. Thats fantastic for those areas. What were focused on here are those areas, in particular, that are heavily dependent on international tourists, and on planes coming in to support that tourism.
Mr Constance said all Australians needed support to come through the pandemic but Queensland had demonstrated appalling behaviour, including refusing to pay its $30 million quarantine bill.
Petulant stunts like ripping up invoices and those types of things. They sat in a national cabinet committee and agreed to pay that bill, he said.
The Queensland government needs to mature and grow up, they might think its funny that theyre upsetting people from NSW, for goodness sake were all Australians, were going through one of the worst, impactful events in the globes history.
Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan has been criticised for overlooking regional NSW in the plan aimed at boosting tourism across the country.
Speaking on 2GB on Thursday morning, Mr Tehan defended the program and said it was designed to help towns that are not common tourist destinations.
Mr Tehan said it was likely more NSW locations would be added to the program.
We have had to step in and support those locations which predominantly have international tourists fly into them which have been incredibly hard hit by the pandemic, he said.
However, tourism groups say regional areas are not the only ones suffering.
Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson said Australias main international gateway cities, Sydney and Melbourne, were struggling with less than 35 per cent hotel capacity.
However, the cities were ignored in the federal governments package.
Accommodation occupancy rates in both Sydney and Melbourne are below the 35 per cent mark – that means only 35 per cent of our workforce is employed with JobKeeper set to end, Mr Johnson said.
While some regional tourism areas are actually flourishing, occupancy rates in Sydney and Melbourne CBDs are languishing. That figure will not improve for some time yet given the lack of corporate travel, conference and events and international tourism.
We need large numbers of visitors to come to both Sydney and Melbourne to make up the huge short-fall otherwise we will lose even more of our skilled staff. How are businesses in Sydney and Melbourne meant to retain whats left of their skilled workforce without any assistance.
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Alexandra Smith is the State Political Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.
Tom Rabe is Transport Reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.