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.
Another week, another warm welcoming for a visiting pollie. image:  Rod Hartvigsen.Another week, another warm Broome welcome for a visiting gas plant salesman. image: Rod Hartvigsen.
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

  1. The conflict of interest here is clear. PM Rudd should be stepping in to sort Ferguson out as who in government is going to speak up on behalf of tourism when you have the Minister for Tourism cheerleading for the mining industry?

    This is a disgraceful situation and should be the catalyst for a letter writing campaign to Rudd.

    Comment by Calidris on February 16, 2009 at 7:21 pm

  2. Very true! Makes a chnage to see someone spell it out like that. 🙂

    Comment by Jady on June 26, 2011 at 8:36 pm

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