Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister: “Australian tourism is facing its biggest challenge in living memory.”
Yes, that’s exactly what he said last week.
Today’s news announced: “Tourism Australia will today unveil the first part of its $76 million federal government tourism package: a $20 million bump for its domestic, multimedia, regional-focused “Holiday Here This Year’’ ad campaign.” (Crikey, 23.1.20)
Seriously? Tourism is the problem? And “Holiday Here This Year” is the solution?
What amount of $$$ was some moron paid to think that slogan up?
TOURISM? We need tourists to visit our burnt out, smoke filled continent?
Incidentally, tourism is apparently so important that … get this:
(as we are reminded by Paul Barratt OA, on Twitter), “Government will spend 50% more on Tourism package than on habitat restoration”
Words fail me.
AND, of the $76 million ‘Tourist Package’, $25 million will be spent on a GLOBAL ad to tell people it’s SAFE to come to Australia.
A further $20 million is for domestic ads to ask people to please visit bush-fire ravaged parts of our continent.
Then, there’s the (wait for it!) $10 million to BRING CELEBRITIES here!
I mean, we are going to PAY CELEBRITIES (who, perhaps??) to visit and pretend that they care?
(Is that some sort of joke?)
And WHY is our PM talking as if the fires were something that have ‘been and gone’; that came and went?
Here’s a bit of bushfire history:
Bush fire threats and possible future catastrophes are indeed worsening. We all have to accept that fact.
Previous fires are well known and documented.
Since 1851, there have been over 800 deaths caused by bush fires in Australia.
Have they all occurred in December and January?
While some of the fires have occurred in the months of December or January, the horrendous ‘Black Saturday' fires of 2009, burnt in February to March.
‘Ash Wednesday’ (1983) was in February.
The Tasmanian fires of 1967 were in February.
1926 fires – in Feb-March.
And that’s mentioning just a few of the worst.
May I remind Mr Morrison that it is now still January?
Can you see the problem?
What makes our PM think that the crisis is over? He is assuming that we’ve had our fires for this season and now it’s time for the important work of trying to plug the big hole in the economy and solve all the problems by inviting tourists to come to Australia.
Is he serious?
One (only one, mind you) of the reasons for the big hole in the economy is because many parts of Australia are wrecked. Lives are wrecked, houses, businesses and properties have been wrecked. We’ve lost famous forests and billions of native animals. Whole ecosystems have been obliterated.
What’s to see?
How did this happen?
Don’t even start thinking about the total neglect of planning for what was – and is - an inevitable catastrophe.
So, should tourism be the major concern right now? Really?
What about concern for people who have lost their homes and everything they owned? Aren’t they deserving of real and urgent concern?
What about the ongoing concerns for other programs and organisations, unrelated to bush-fires, that have been ignored and drained of funds lately—such as the NDIS and Aged care—not to mention health and education — all subjects that seem to have been forgotten, while tourism is being put forward as the answer to everything.
What about the REAL and present danger of Climate Change that is affecting us all —all our communities, all our ecology, all our lives —whether you want to accept it or not, it’s REAL.
It may already be too late. How’s that for a thought to bump you awake?
While Scott Morrison and his coal-worshipping acolytes in government and elsewhere continue their purposely ignorant and dangerous attitude to our country - and the world - by rejecting the need to be rid of coal-fired energy, the chorus of the old (was it 2003?) song, ‘What about me?’ keeps spinning in my head.
And, I don’t mean just for me, personally. I mean for all the seemingly voiceless people (young & old).
And the koalas and all beautiful — now endangered —Australian fauna.
And the entire world.
“What about me? It isn't fair
I've had enough, now I want my share
Can't you see, I want to live
But you just take more than you give.”
Mr Morrison, you have a history of being a failed advertising man and a twice failed tourism ‘executive’.
So, forget bloody tourism and do something decent.
Come on, Scott. Move over and let someone with brains and integrity take over.
The world wants to live.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.