Jet-setting Minister Ridgway has spent more than $85,000 of taxpayers’ money travelling overseas, while cutting funding for tourism in South Australia.
Minister Ridgway is currently overseas again – his ninth taxpayer-funded overseas trip since last year’s election, including six to China.
On previous trips he’s racked up hefty bills, including more than $1,000 per night at the Four Seasons in Shanghai.
While spending up big on himself, he’s cut $23 million from the tourism budget.
These cuts are hurting our local industry, with Tourism Research Australia forecasting a 1.6 per cent decline in the number of nights international tourists will spend in South Australia in the next year.
Declines in tourists visiting South Australia will have a negative impact on one of SA’s key job sectors at a time when the unemployment rate is the highest in Australia.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison
Whilst Minister Ridgway jet-sets around the world spending South Australian taxpayers’ money overseas, the South Australian tourism sector is left to languish.
The Marshall Liberal Government’s $23 million cuts to tourism are having a real impact on the visitor economy.
The growth forecasts for the industry reflect how poorly Minister Ridgway has performed in the tourism portfolio.
The Marshall Liberal Government has slugged the tourism industry with increased taxes, cuts to tourism marketing and sector development, while the Minister grabs every opportunity he can to leave South Australia.