Gordon Hill

Gordon Hill

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    Impact of GST on Mid-West tourism

    26/01/1993 12:00 AM
     
     
    Small Business Minister Gordon Hill said a Goods and Services Tax would be disastrous for service-related industries in the tourism sector.
     
    Commenting on the Opposition's Midwest policy, Mr Hill said Mr Court obviously did not understand the impact of his own policies on small business.
     
    "Mr Court says tourism is the key to boosting small business and employment prospects in the Geraldton/Mid-West region, yet intends to impose a 15 per cent Goods and Service Tax on the tourism sector - many of whom are small businesses," Mr Hill said.
     
    "Hotels, restaurants, coffee houses, tour companies and other service-related industries will have to add up to 15 per cent on their products and services under a Liberal Government.
     
    "A study by Ernst and Young has concluded that restaurant meals would cost up to 14 per cent more, alcohol up to eight per cent more and hotel accommodation about 13 per cent more under a Goods and Services Tax.
     
    "Not only that, but domestic airfares and busfares would also attract a GST - a disincentive for interstate and overseas visitors to travel to the more distant areas of Australia - including Western Australia.
     
    "A Goods and Services tax has serious implications for our regional areas - particularly for towns which rely heavily on tourism to sustain them, for example Broome and Exmouth, as well as many towns in the South-West.
     
    "Someone should ask Mr Court to explain the contradiction in his policies," Mr Hill said.
     
    "How can small businesses in the tourism industry benefit from a new tax which would not only increase the cost of goods and services, but impose additional accountability and paper-work on small businessmen and women?
     
    "It is well recognised within the industry that tourism would be the hardest hit by Fightback," Mr Hill said.
     
    "WA is already disadvantaged by its isolation and its vast distances - a GST on the industry does not make sense."
     
    Mr Hill said it was obvious the State Opposition did not fully understand the impact a Goods and Services tax would have on WA.
     
    "They have blindly adopted a new Federal tax without considering the implications for the people in this State," he said.
     
    "Dr Hewson's own tourism spokesman fought to exclude the industry from a GST burden, and last year conceded that its impact on the tourism industry was unknown."