The Hon. R. S. L. JONES:
I ask the Special Minister of State, representing the Minister for Small Business, and Minister for Tourism, a question without notice. Is the Minister aware that wildlife tourism in Zimbabwe yields twice as much as cattle farming? Is the Minister also aware that in South Africa game viewing is far more valuable than game farming? What is the Minister doing to ensure that land-holders in western New South Wales with abundant wildlife are able to gain tourist dollars from their assets? Will the Minister ask her department to produce a holistic plan for wildlife tourism in western New South Wales in consultation with tourism operators both in Australia and in northern Europe, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and land-holders to ensure that the benefits from this fast growing industry are shared by our wild west?
The Hon. J. J. DELLA BOSCA:
I will ask the Minister for Tourism to provide a more detailed answer to the member’s question. I place clearly on the record the fact that I have not been to Zimbabwe and I am not conscious of the structure of its economy in relation to competition between the beef cattle industry and the tourism industry - although I would not be surprised if the figures that the honourable member has quoted are accurate. Indeed, I am in a position to check them at fairly short notice, and I intend to do so.
It is true that the general thrust of his question relates to our capacity to pick up on the variety of changes happening throughout the world in relation to economic and cultural opportunities created by the greater movement of people around the globe. For that reason we are well served to have a tourism Minister such as Sandra Nori, who is very much on top of these sorts of issues, on the ball and brimming with ideas. I am sure that if she has not already thought of the matter raised by the honourable member, she will create in her mind an entire plan which no doubt she will be pleased to share with the House at some convenient time in the future.