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October 28, 2014

IR & Legal Update


Government & Policy

NSW Government announces NSW Ministerial Arrangements

The Hon. Troy Grant MP was elected unopposed as the new Leader of the NSW Nationals, and therefore NSW Deputy Premier, on 16 October 2014.

In addition to his previous responsibilities as the Minister for Hospitality, Gaming and Racing and the Minister for the Arts, Mr Grant is now the Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services, Minister for Trade and Investment and Minister for Tourism and Major Events.

Mr Stoner’s resignation also resulted in several other changes to the NSW Cabinet:

  • The Member for Monaro, The Hon. John Barilaro MP, is the new Minister for Small Business and Minister for Regional Tourism.
  • The Hon. Duncan Gay MLC, in addition to his role as Minister for Roads and Freight, is now the Minister for the North Coast.

The Member for Tweed, Mr Geoff Provest MP, has assumed the new role of Parliamentary Secretary for the Deputy Premier and Regional Roads.  A full list of the NSW Ministry is enclosed.  The next NSW State Election is will be held on Saturday, 28 March 2015.

Regional Research Report released

Our Positioning Paper on ‘Addressing the poor performance of the Accommodation sector in Regional NSW’ has been released.  Extensive briefings have been held with government during the year following the consultation phase and the report phase, based on both the contribution of accommodation to regional tourism and the importance of regional tourism in meeting our 2020 targets.  Government have been very responsive and have advised a platform of change will be introduced.  Briefings have now been organised with the newly appointed Minister for Regional Tourism and the Deputy Premier’s office.

Escalated Penalty Regime for sale of alcohol to minors

On the 15 October the  Liquor Legislation Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill  2014 was introduced to Parliament.  While the Bill implements significant reforms, the section that has the potential to impact accommodation hotels is the following “that should a licensee be convicted of selling a person under the age of 18 liquor, apart from a strike being incurred and the Risk Based licensing compliance loading being triggered, a first offence will result in the Secretary, Trade and Investment issuing a “show cause” notice asking why the licence should not be suspended for 28 days.  Conviction for a second similar offence will result in the licence being AUTOMATICALLY suspended for 28 days, and a third conviction will lead to the licence being CANCELLED, with the licensee unable to reapply for a licence for 12 months”.

In the case of a hotel licence, the primary purpose must always be the sale and supply of alcohol, so even in the case of an accommodation hotel, whilst the licence is suspended the hotel cannot open for business.  Even should the hotel be able to operate without the liquor licence, hotel bars, room service and mini bars would be all prohibited.  A meeting has been organised with the Minister
to highlight the impact on members.

Victorian Government moves forward with MCEC expansion

The Victorian Government announced on Friday that the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) will be expanded and that it would begin negotiating on a public-private partnership with its convention centre partner Plenary.  The negotiations are expected to take six months with the centre expected to be open by the end of the decade.

The proposed expansion will see the South Wharf precinct footprint grow by up to 10,000 square metres to include multi-purpose convention and exhibition facilities, as well as a 250 room hotel and new retail space.

Office of Liquor & Gaming introduces Environment & Venue Assessment Tool (EVAT)

The Office of Liquor & Gaming (OLGR) will introduce EVAT in early 2015.  EVAT will be introduced to provide a consistent and transparent basis on which to make licensing decisions.  It will be used in conjunction with Community Impact Statements and submissions.  Please find attached a Fact Sheet which outlines the background, purpose and usage of the tool by OLGR.

Work to commence on Environmental Impact Assessment for proposed Western Sydney Airport

The environmental approvals process has started for a new airport at Badgerys Creek.  The federal government has begun surveys of the site chosen for Sydney’s second airport.

Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss says an environmental referral is being prepared, the legal process required before an environmental assessment can start.  He expects the assessment process, including public consultation, will start before the end of the year and will update environmental assessments done at the site in the 1980s and 1999.

In August the government issued a formal notice to consult, meaning discussions could begin with Sydney Airport Group about developing and operating the airport in western Sydney.

New Sanctions against rule-breaking Hostels

The NSW Government are introducing new laws that mean basic utilities could be denied to backpacker hostels that break the rules.

NSW Minister for Planning Pru Goward said giving the Land and Environment Court the power to cut off gas, electricity and water to hostels that are illegal or break their consent conditions would have an immediate effect on a hostel’s business, and so increase compliance.

The new laws will also give local councils additional powers to regulate hostels and boarding houses.

New Israel and Australia Visa Arrangement

Australia and Israel signed a reciprocal Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) arrangement on 22 October 2014.  Soon young adults, aged 18–30 years, from Australia and Israel will be able to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity to play, work and study in each other’s country for up to 12 months.  There will be 500 places on offer for each country per programme year.

Over the coming months, both Australia and Israel will work closely together to implement the necessary legal and administrative processes to bring this visa into effect.  Announcements on the implementation of the Work and Holiday visa, as well as further information on the programme, can be found at www.immi.gov.au.

Research Reports

  • Deloitte Tourism & Hotel Market Outlook – August 2016

Deloitte Access Economics’ latest Tourism and Hotel Market Outlook reports that the tourism sector grew three times faster than the overall economy over the year to June. Huge growth in leisure travel to Australia saw international visitor numbers surge 10% in the same period – the fastest rate of growth since the mid-1990s. At the same time, domestic travel posted its strongest growth since records began nearly two decades ago.  Please click here to access the Executive Summary.

  • TRA releases State and Territory Tourism Forecasts

The State and Territory Tourism Forecasts 2016 highlights the distribution of tourism visitor nights in Australia to 2024–25.

  • Sydney Airport Traffic Performance July 2016

International passenger growth for July was very strong, increasing 12.3% on the prior corresponding period (pcp).  The international result benefited from a capacity increase of 11.6%, a later school holiday period and stable load factors.

Strong foreign nationality demand (+12.6%) contributed to the international passenger growth with Chinese (+22.5%), USA (+18.3%), Japanese (+25.4%), South Korean (+22.9%), Indian (+21.3%) and Indonesian (+13.0%) nationalities performing well. Chinese nationals increased by over 20,000 and were the largest foreign contributor of incremental passengers, primarily due to an increase in seat capacity from new and existing airline customers.

  • Megatrends Defining Travel in 2016

Skift outlines the global trends that occurred in 2015 and underway in 2016.

Industry News

  • Air China’s new Chengdu-Sydney service in November

Air China launches its Chengdu-Sydney service on the 12 November. The route will be operated by A330-200 aircraft with 237 seats. Chengdu is Air China’s second largest hub offering connections to over 47 destinations within China and international cities including Frankfurt, Paris and Rome

Flight schedule

Sunday, Tuesday and Friday: CA429 Departs Chengdu at 2255, arrives in Sydney at 1235+1         Monday, Wednesday and Saturday: CA430 Departs Sydney 1435, arrives 2235 in Chengdu.

  • Chinese company purchases Sydney’s Park Regis hotel

Staywell Hospitality Group has sold its Park Regis Hotel in the Sydney CBD for $46 million to a Chinese firm who acquired the hotel through their Melbourne-based financial planning company, Cornerstone Capital.

  • A new generation of double-decker trains is coming to NSW

The brand new trains will begin rolling onto our railways from 2019, transforming intercity travel for customers in Newcastle, the Central Coast, South Coast and the Blue Mountains.

The new fleet of trains will include modern CCTV surveillance technology to ensure safety, help points and digital screens. New features will include:

  • Charging stations for mobile devices on each seat
  • Two by two seating on upper and lower levels
  • Wider, fabric-covered seats with arm rests and more space
  • Cup holders and tray tables
  • Dedicated space for luggage, prams, bicycles and wheelchairs
  • Accessible toilets
  • Digital screens and announcements.

The new intercity fleet of more than 500 new carriages will be built by RailConnect, a joint venture between the Hyundai Rotem Company, Mitsubishi Electric Australia and UGL Rail.

  • Tropfest to move to Parramatta Park

Parramatta Park is the new home of the Tropfest short film festival. NSW Environment and Heritage Minister Mark Speakman said the three-year deal is to secure the future of the iconic Australian event. Tropfest will be held on Saturday 11 February 2017 at the Cattle Paddocks, a four-hectare festival setting in Parramatta Park.

Tropfest Jr will be held on Friday 10 February, in The Crescent, Parramatta Park’s natural amphitheatre, as part of The Crescent Live program over summer.

  • Wynyard Walk is almost open

The first pieces of glass are going into the Wynyard Walk canopy this week. When open next month, the walkway will allow pedestrians to walk from the Wynyard transport hub to the Barangaroo waterfront in approximately six minutes, avoiding steep inclines and roads. Please find video link.


  • IR & Legal Calendar of Event

8 September                       Managing Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination

16 September                     Webinar: Know Your Award Overview

19 – 23 September              Regional Seminars (North Coast) Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay

To book a place in any of the above courses, please click here to download a course booking form and return a completed form to Legal@ahansw.com.au or by fax: (02) 9281 1857.

  • Advanced Leadership Course

TAA in conjunction with Damien O’Malley has launched an Enhanced Leadership Program. The 2-day program combines best practice leadership concepts with practical application approaches to create a unique and interactive learning experience.

DATE:                   Wednesday, 21 September and Thursday, 22 September

VENUE:                 Level 15, Hudson House, 131 Macquarie St, Sydney

TIME:                    9am – 5pm

RSVP:                   taa@tourismaccommodation.com.au



  • Destination NSW and BE Sydney Marketing & Events Update – Tuesday, 6 September 2016
  • Investor briefing on Draft Central Sydney Planning Strategy – Wednesday, 14 September 2016
  • Breakfast seminar on International Travel Trends – Thursday, 22 September 2016
  • Sydney Airport Lunch with Shelley Roberts, Executive Director Aviation Services – Thursday, 20 October 2016
  • Sustainability Benchmarking Seminar – Friday, 28 October 2016
  • GM ICC Tour, Seminar & end of year Drinks – Monday, 21 November 2016

If you wish to attend any of our upcoming events please email: taa@tourismaccommodation.com.au or telephone 02 8218 1847.

Industry Events

  • HM Awards – Sydney Town Hall, Friday, 2 September 2016
  • Destination Australia Conference 2017 dates announced

Tourism Australia has confirmed the 2017 Destination Australia Conference will be held on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 March in Sydney. Destination Australia is Tourism Australia’s annual conference targeted to senior marketers and decision makers in tourism actively selling Australia to international leisure and business travellers.

Industry Moves

On behalf of TAA NSW we wish to congratulate the following individuals on their recent appointments:

  • Joanna Carruthers on her appointment as General Manager, Rydges North Sydney
  • Vikas Malhotra on his appointment as General Manager, Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport
  • John Monro on his appointment as Resident Manager, Park Regis Concierge Apartments


Corporate Partners

2016 Apr - Updated Sponsor Logos for Member UpdatedLogo-GHS


Sent on behalf of the TAA