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Cabinet reshuffle sees Dan Tehan named new Federal Tourism Minister

Cabinet reshuffle sees Dan Tehan named new Federal Tourism Minister
December 18, 2020

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a limited Cabinet reshuffle, moving Education Minister Dan Tehan to the key trade portfolio where he becomes the new Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

While leaving the key posts of treasurer, foreign affairs, defence and home affairs untouched, Minister Tehan replaces Simon Birmingham, who becomes Finance Minister following the retirement from Federal politics of Senator Mathias Cormann.

Commenting on the appointment, Prime Minister, Morrison stated "Dan brings incredibly strong credentials to this role as a former officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as a keen sense of the particular interests of regional and rural Australia in open, rules-based trading systems.”

The aged care portfolio will be elevated to Cabinet, with Greg Hunt, as Health Minister, taking on the additional responsibilities the government's response to the Aged Care Royal Commission.

Current Aged Care Minister Senator Richard Colbeck has been moved out of cabinet but will retain responsibility for Sport and Senior Australians.

In other changes, Jane Hume has been promoted to the ministry to digital transformation while Jonathan Duniam becomes Assistant Minister for Development.

Welcoming the new Federal Tourism Minister, TTF Australia Chief Executive, Margy Osmond advised

“TTF has a good relationship with new Tourism Minister Tehan who will bring a strong regional Victorian perspective and fresh set of eyes to the ongoing challenges facing the tourism sector.

“(We look) forward to working closely with Minister Tehan and his team as the domestic tourism sector continues to lose $3.6 billion a month as COVID-19 hotspots like that in Sydney’s Northern Beaches continue to emerge and travel remains subdued.

“Our industry both nationally and in the Minister’s home state of Victoria has been hit for six and is clearly still in survival mode. We will relay our concerns and challenges but also importantly specific opportunities to Minister Tehan in the new year, as a matter of priority.”

The challenge facing Minister Tehan was highlighted by Tourism Research Australia’s recently released September 2020 analysis which showed national visitor spend was down 56%, overnight trips down 46% and visitor nights down 43% against September 2019.

Commenting on the free-falling domestic visitor economy due to COVID-19, Australian Tourism Industry Council Executive Director, Simon Westaway explained “the latest domestic tourism numbers reinforce just how deep a hole our industry fell into and the collective impact of the COVID pandemic with border closures and the earlier bushfire crisis.

“The journey for Australian tourism’s recovery and its sustainable future, as one of our biggest industries, faces ongoing challenges, including our continued hard international border closure.

“Long-standing issues haven’t gone away in the COVID economy and the attention of government is needed to address market failure of affordable, accessible small business insurance products.

“Real labour and skills shortages remain across parts of industry through the COVID-19 impact on the international backpacker workforce and our stalled Working Holiday Maker Program.

“A new national tourism and visitor economy strategy and plan, beyond the completed Tourism2020, also must be expedited into 2021 including a sharp focus on sustainable recovery.”

The latest Tourism Research Australia data can be viewed at

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