TAA (Vic) recently coordinated a meeting between a select group of hotel general managers and Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas. The gathering was held at Park Hyatt Melbourne.
Treasurer Pallas referenced the rate of growth of the Victorian economy in the past five years, but noted subdued consumer consumption activity, particularly in the housing sector, that has had an adverse impact on Victoria’s budget over recent times. Encouragingly, this confidence is rapidly being restored, with a rebounding property sector – evident through increased property listings for sale and recovering property prices.
Confidence in part borne through a realisation that major infrastructure projects continue to proceed in Victoria, at a rate triple that of the past ten years. The Treasurer noted the importance of the North East link; the removal of an additional 25 level crossings (75 in total) and the Melbourne Airport Rail Link as key intergenerational projects, priorities for completion by the State Government.
He also reinforced the importance of the tourism sector and its contribution to Victoria’s economy, as a generator of 233,000 jobs; having played host to 72 major events, 600 business events and 200 regional events since November 2014. Mr Pallas highlighted increasing average visitor spends in regional Victoria and facilitating faster planning approval processes as key opportunities for growth and improvement. He also noted significant returns on government investment that have been achieved in the tourism sector when reflecting on the importance of future spending, to ensure the sector continues to grow.
The Treasurer referenced the Victorian Government’s preparedness to engage with stakeholders and examine options to determine how hosts operating short stay accommodation businesses on a commercial scale comply with the same regulations as traditional hotels.
In closing, Treasurer Pallas appreciated the importance of the government managing the state’s budget in a responsible manner, recognising they should be held accountable by the constituents they serve for how financial decisions are made and where money is spent across our state.