Millions stripped from Tourism Australia in federal budget

LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch is "not 100 per cent comfortable" with advice he has received that Tourism Australia will have the same spending power after losing $14 million from its budget.

Tuesday night's Federal Budget announcement reduced the government agency's funding from $143 million to $129 million in a move slammed by tourism advocacy groups.

Mr Entsch said Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck's office said the cuts were due to currency fluctuations and an efficiency dividend - an annual funding cut meant make government organisations more cost-effective.

"While it may look like tourism has less funding in Australian dollars, when you take exchange rates into account, they say Tourism Australia has virtually the same spending power as it had last year," he said.

Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch says he will not accept his government’s claims of Tourism Australia retaining its spending power despite a budget cut without further investigation.
Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch says he will not accept his government’s claims of Tourism Australia retaining its spending power despite a budget cut without further investigation. MARC McCORMACK

Mr Entsch intended to raise his concerns in the party room if the government's explanation turned out to be misleading.

"I'm not going to blindly accept it," he said.

"I will be digging deeper.

"The fact that the industry is doing very well in some areas is a reason to invest.

"You don't just start dragging away from when it's starting to perform exceptionally well."

News Corp Australia

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