Transcript - Interview with Michael Moffett - Triple M

MICHAEL MOFFETT

Some good news to be announced today when it comes to our tourism sector. Let's talk more about it. The Deputy Prime Minister joins us on the line – Michael McCormack. Michael, good morning.

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Good morning, Moffee.

MICHAEL MOFFETT

Well some good news, not only consumers, but for the industry as well.

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Indeed it is. And what we're doing is, we're going to be paying for half the airline ticket to a number of destinations right throughout Australia including the tropical Far North Queensland, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast areas in every state – and the Northern Territory. Making sure that we get that airline industry, those jobs supported, making sure that we get those planes back in the air. Of course, they're only operating on limited capacity at the moment, not helped by border closures, no. And what we need to do is make sure that as the vaccine rolls out and as people start to travel again more, society returns to some sort of pre-COVID normality. That we get those planes back in the air that people can enjoy a holiday – my goodness, Moffee, they need one. And the Government's going to support not only the air price tickets but indeed also the travel agents. And I know how much Pat Conaghan has fought to ensure that those 40,000 people who work in that industry – 80% of whom are women – are supported. I know that James Cracknell, who has some outlets through Windsong, Travel in Bellingen and Sawtell and other places, I know he's very supportive of how Pat's fought for this and Pat has delivered.

MICHAEL MOFFETT

The thing is, too, that a lot of people are going to be obviously not able to go overseas, so we are going to be holidaying in our own backyard here in Australia. So, it does help for people, like you say, with the Whitsundays-Mackay parts of North Queensland, the Northern Territory. Even places like Merimbula on the Far South Coast as well where this, for them, tourism is what keeps them alive. I lived in Bega for three and a half years. There was a stretch where you go for three months where the shop shut down because it's the off season. Well, if we can generate more people to go there, it's helping everyone.

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Moffee, for every dollar spent on airfares, it translates to $10 at the destination. For those hospitality areas, for those theme parks, for those people who take tourist boats out on the water, they make their money from people who jump in a plane and come to their wonderful location. And spend it there on food and all sorts of entertainment and having a good time winding down. That's what it's all about. And as you say, holiday at home.

MICHAEL MOFFETT

And $1.2 billion for the package, the return flights for the locations. Basically, between the first of April and 31st of July. So, it's a fair crack of time as well for people.

MICHAEL McCORMACK

It's a fair crack of time. It's called the Tourism Aviation Network Support. Now it backs up with the Domestic Aviation Network Support, the Regional Airline Network Support. So we've got DANS, RANS and TANS and I know people are going to be big fan of this.

MICHAEL MOFFETT

Hey, good on you, Michael. Thanks so much for calling in this morning.

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Any time at all. Thanks, mate. Bye.

Media contact:

Dean Shachar, 0418 202 860