Tasmanian Hospitality Review - February / March 2023


Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Rebecca White

Strengthening and future-proofing our hospitality industry

about how they will pay their bills from July.

Under a Labor government, Tasmanians will pay Tasmanian prices for Tasmanian energy. A Labor government will cap power price increases at 2.5 per cent each year for three years, saving Tasmanian businesses thousands of dollars. And we will introduce a rebate scheme, making rebates per megawatt hour available to eligible businesses. Labor will also take real and meaningful action to address the housing crisis and provide affordable housing. We’ve seen the impact of the lack of affordable housing and government inaction to address this – and we know regional communities are struggling to get the workers they need simply because there is nowhere for them to live. One of the things we could do immediately is properly regulate Tasmania’s short-stay accommodation market. Instead of leaving it up to individual councils, we need a statewide pause on any new “whole home” short-stay permits. And we need the planning reform promised by the Liberals in 2014 but still not delivered, six years after they were due.

As we begin a new year, Tasmanian Labor is looking ahead with optimism and focused on planning for a prosperous future for our state. I know many hospitality businesses have taken heart from the bumper summer season, after years of Covid disruption, but I’ve also spoken to many business owners for whom the uncertainty and anxiety isn’t over. Soaring power prices – with more on the horizon – and other rising costs associated with record inflation have left many businesses on the edge, and I know staying afloat is a weekly proposition for some. Materials cost more, water costs more, waste disposal costs more thanks to the government’s waste tax and trade waste tax, and on top of that, you’ve got rising insurance premiums and soaring rents. So as 2023 unfolds, Labor is focused on providing the relief and support many in the industry need to not only survive, but also thrive. Since the Liberals broke their promise to de-link Tasmania from the National Electricity Market, power prices have already gone up by 12 per cent. Prices are set to rise by another 20 per cent per cent by the middle of this year, adding another $500 to the average annual household bill, with businesses set to pay thousands more. And, as many café and restaurant operators have told us, they simply can’t afford it and are in despair

The Labor team and I are committed to having the right policies to build the foundations of Tasmania’s future.

And we will keep holding the current government to account and pushing them to provide the help and support the industry desperately needs to support jobs right across Tasmania.

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