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Western Australian Premier reveals leisure portfolios in post-election landslide cabinet

Western Australian Premier reveals leisure portfolios in post-election landslide cabinet
March 18, 2021

Having secured an historic landslide win in the state election at the weekened - with a minimum of 52 seats in the 59 seat lower house, Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has announced his new cabinet with changes announced in key leisure and related portfolios.

With Premier McGowan to also serve as Treasurer, changes see Paul Papalia leaver the tourism portfolio.

Health Minister Roger Cook and Planning and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti have retained their existing responsibilities, with Minister Cook will add medical research, jobs and trade and science to his portfolios.

New cabinet ministers Amber-Jade Sanderson will be responsible for the environment, climate action and commerce while Tony Buti will take on finance, lands, sport and recreation and multiracial interests.

Another new entrant John Carey - the former Vincent Mayor - becomes Minister for Local Government and Housing.

David Templeman - who hands over the local government portfolio - will take on responsibility for tourism - which has now been separated from racing and gaming, a move likely influenced by the pending Royal Commission into Crown Perth - and will now be the Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Heritage, and Leader of the House.

Jessica Shaw MLA has been named Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Culture and the Arts and Heritage.

Welcoming Minister Templeman's appointment, Tourism Council WA Chief Executive, Evan Hall said he was looking forward to him being the strong voice that the state's tourism industry needed.

Hall advised “I look forward to working with the new Minister in what is a very critical moment for the future of the industry.

“The immediate challenge for the new Government and Tourism Minister is to sustain at-risk tourism businesses still struggling from the impact of the interstate border restrictions.

“It is critical that local tourism operators, whether it be tours, experiences, or accommodation, are supported and sustained until confidence in domestic travel across Australia returns, as many risk closure or mass job losses when JobKeeper ends next week.”

Hall said the Minister’s first task should be to secure discounted direct flights to Perth in order to save tourism jobs and businesses and recover valuable interstate visitors, adding "while regional hospitality and some tourism businesses are doing well, tours, attractions, and accommodation, particularly in Perth, are still struggling.

“Tens of thousands of tourism jobs in Perth are at risk due to the lack of both interstate and international visitors, and it is unfair that other capital cities such as Darwin, Adelaide, and Hobart have now been added to the list of discounted flights announced by the Federal Government, while Perth still misses out.

“We are calling on the new state government to support these at-risk tourism businesses by ensuring Perth is included in the airfare scheme, so that the state can compete in the new domestic tourism market.”

The swearing-in ceremony for all new Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries will take place tomorrow, 19th March.

Images: Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan (top) and new Tourism Minister David Templeman (middle).

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