It’s all the more confusing when you have sworn enemies like the Federal Labor Minister for Industry and Resources (Ferguson) cuddling up with a state Liberal Premier (Barnett) and the man who handed him that Premiership (Grylls) all under the same doona. But it gets down right murky when you consider the fact that Martin Ferguson is also the Federal Minister for Tourism. You read that right, Federal Minister for Tourism! It’s hard enough to swallow the Liberal’s ignorant notion that a massive industrial complex atop our triple A rated tourism product will enhance that rating (and let’s not forget Liberal Member for Kalgoorlie Barry Hasse’s gibberish that multiple Kimberley gas plants would themselves become tourism icons) but when the Federal Minister for Tourism falls in with the same chant it’s bewildering. At a recent meeting in Broome with stakeholders Martin Ferguson made it clear he’s all for tourism, so long as it’s “business tourism”. You know, hotels, accommodation houses, restaurants, airports, hire car companies, the kind that sleeps easily with his true love of big industry. Casinos and brothels didn’t get a mention, but they’ll come by default. Nature based, eco and cultural tourism, Broome’s golden harvest, barely got lip service. Martin Ferguson as Minister for Industry and Resources makes some sense given his history in politics, but as Minister for Tourism? Who’s dumb idea was that? Both portfolios at the same time? You’ve got to be kidding! Robert Vaughan
Many pollies seek a little "Broome time"
If you’re wondering what’s going on with all these politicians whizzing in and out of Broome, then you are not alone. Colin Barnett, Brendon Grylls and now Martin Ferguson. Their mission: To sell to Broome a Pilbara class industrial precinct. Their combined knowledge of the Kimberley matches their combined stay time in Broome, which amounts to near nothing, but it’s enough for them to tell us they want to rip the rug from under our lifestyles.