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Govt recognises need for more travel industry support: CATO

Organisation joins AFTA in Canberra

In its effort to secure further financial support for the travel industry beyond JobKeeper, a CATO delegation has met with Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan in Canberra. 


With JobKeeper winding up on 28 March, CATO managing director Brett Jardine, chairman Dennis Bunnik, and board member Brad McDonnell had the opportunity to explain “the complex nature” of the travel industry and the role the land supply sector played within travel. 


L to R - Brad McDonnell CEO Entire Travel Group & CATO Board Member; Dennis Bunnik CATO Chair; Minister Tehan; Brett Jardine CATO MD


“We were able to explain the importance of protecting highly skilled jobs and their key to ensuring continued business operations, enabling the redemption of travel credits for consumers and allowing Australians to travel safely once borders reopen,” Mr Jardine said. 


“Whilst we understand the need to close borders, the travel industry has been the sacrificial lamb that has enabled our communities to remain largely COVID free and the wider economy to recover.” 


With trade restricted for travel businesses, Jardine said support should include “continued wage subsidies, grants to help cover overheads and Government backed loans (with delayed repayments) to bridge the cash-flow gap between now and when international travel actually recommences”. 


CATO’s role in helping repatriate Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic was also explained.


According to CATO, Minister Tehan was engaged and interested in learning more about the sector, and arranged for the party to meet with the Senior Economic Advisor for Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg.


“Whilst they understand the need for further travel industry support, they are yet to finalise any assistance packages,” said Jardine.  


“As such, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan encouraged CATO and the entire travel industry to keep campaigning their local members on the impact of COVID and the ramifications of ending of JobKeeper to the tourism industry.”


The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) CEO Darren Rudd also met with key stakeholders in Canberra this week in a unified lobby for continued support for the travel industry. 


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Written by: Traveltalk staff
Published: 17 February 2021

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