Showing posts with label National Party of Australia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Party of Australia. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

"An infamous federal government bureaucrat at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in the ABC’s history – a fraudulent story which sparked the multi-billion dollar Northern Territory intervention – has been promoted to serve as Australia’s High Commissioner to Ghana."


New Matilda, 28 June 2020:

An infamous federal government bureaucrat at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in the ABC’s history – a fraudulent story which sparked the multi-billion dollar Northern Territory intervention – has been promoted to serve as Australia’s High Commissioner to Ghana.

Gregory Andrews was working as a senior adviser to Indigenous affairs minister Mal Brough in 2006 when he appeared as the star witness in an ABC Lateline story which falsely described him as an ‘anonymous youth worker’.
Andrews – whose face was filmed in shadow and his voice digitized to hide his identity – wept openly on camera as he described how, in the mid-2000s, he reported incidents of sexual violence against women and children in Mutitjulu to police, but withdrew his statements after being threatened by powerful men in the community.
It subsequently emerged the entire story was a fiction – Andrews had never made a single report of violence against women or children to police.
Andrews was also forced to apologise to the Federal Senate for providing misleading testimony, and later became the first public servant in history to avoid appearing before a Senate Inquiry on the grounds of stress.
The day after the ABC story was broadcast, the Northern Territory government announced a high-level inquiry into the claims. Almost a year later, the resulting reporting – Little Children Are Sacred – was used by the Howard Government as the basis for launching the Northern Territory intervention.

Infamous Canberra bureaucrat, Gregory Andrews, pictured in 2017.

Reporting by Fairfax revealed that shortly before Prime Minister John Howard announced the NT intervention, it received a report from Liberal Party polling firm Crosby Textor advising it that its best chance of winning the 2007 election was to intervene in the affairs of the state and territory governments, to try and make them look incompetent (all state and territory governments at the time were controlled by Labor).
The strategy failed – the Howard government lost the election, with former Foreign Affairs minister Alexander Downer lamenting afterwards that despite the loss, the policy proved popular with Australian voters.
Andrews worked in the community of Mutitjulu for a short period in 2005 as a project manager for the Northern Territory government. He subsequently joined the Department of Families and Community Services, Housing and Indigenous Affairs, and was providing advice directly to Minister Brough when the ABC falsely described him as an ‘anonymous youth worker’.
Talking points which had been prepared by Andrews for the minister prior to his appearance on Lateline were subsequently leaked – they revealed that once Andrews was provided anonymity by Lateline, he grossly embellished his story.
Andrews claimed children were being traded between Aboriginal communities in Central Australia as “sex slaves”. A lengthy investigation by Northern Territory police found “no evidence whatsoever” to support the claims. An Australian Crime Commission investigation also found the allegations to be false.....
Read the full article here.

Murdoch has managed to deprive NSW Northern Rivers region of most of its local print newspapers & now Morrison is attacking our most reliable news source, the ABC


The Age, 25 June 2020: 

ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose has lashed out at Communications Minister Paul Fletcher over the Morrison government's handling of its multimillion-dollar budget cuts and accused him of lying about the national broadcaster's efforts to collaborate with SBS. 

In a fresh war of words between the taxpayer-funded broadcaster and the Coalition government, Ms Buttrose has accused Mr Fletcher of twice failing to provide the ABC board and management with the critical data that informed an independent report proposing the closure of two broadcast channels and the sharing of back-office and support services with fellow public broadcaster SBS. 

Ms Buttrose has also said the government misrepresented the ABC's efforts to work closer with SBS. In a strongly-worded letter to Mr Fletcher, seen by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Ms Buttrose said the ABC's board had asked her to "convey its concerns" about Mr Fletcher's lack of response to correspondence between the pair in September last year. 

"We raised a number of issues but were particularly interested in seeing 'the information - data, models and assumptions - which formed the basis for the savings estimates provided in the report'," Ms Buttrose wrote. "I appreciate you have a busy schedule but we would appreciate an answer to our queries." 

Ms Buttrose said several media reports, which ABC management believes were informed by Mr Fletcher, had suggested the ABC "had neglected to 'collaborate more closely with SBS'". 

"This is incorrect," Ms Buttrose wrote. "David Anderson has had several conversations with SBS about sharing costs". 

A Peter Tonagh-led review of the public broadcasters was handed to the Morrison government in March last year, but its details were kept confidential as the ABC developed plans to cut costs. Some recommendations - such as an increased focus on digital growth, improving the ABC's iview platform and reducing investment in products that are not central to the ABC charter - were effectively adopted in the plan announced yesterday, but an ABC spokesman said that if all had been implemented there would have been more cuts. 

In the September correspondence between the pair, Ms Buttrose said the board said several proposals in the review "lack enough detail to allow an evaluation of whether the suggested savings can be realised". 

"In some cases, the savings estimates are presented in aggregate for the two national broadcasters and it is unclear what proportion of them has been attributed to the ABC, rather than SBS," she said. 

In particular, the review estimates that the national broadcasters could together save "a minimum of $45 million" by reducing multichannel services and "between $80 million and $115 million per annum" through focusing expenditure on what it characterises as "core" activities and a greater focus on digital delivery. 

"However, it provides no information as to how these figures were derived or the proportions attributed to the ABC," she said. Sources said Ms Buttrose had also raised the issue with Mr Fletcher at a face-to-face meeting between the pair at ABC's Ultimo headquarters on Tuesday. 

Mr Fletcher and Prime Minister Scott Morrison staunchly defended the level of funding provided to the ABC, insisting the government has not cut its budget, and backed the national broadcaster's efforts to be more focused on regional and suburban Australia. "There are no cuts ... the ABC's funding is increasing every year," Mr Morrison said on Thursday. "The ABC would be the only media company or organisation in Australia today whose revenue, their funding, is increasing. It would be the only one in the country. We are seeing regional mastheads by commercial newspapers abolished." 

The ABC announced a range of cuts on Wednesday, including 250 job losses and the end of the 7.45am radio news bulletin, in a bid to save $40 million until 2022. Managing director David Anderson also announced plans to cut poor-performing content, reduce episodes of Australian Story and Foreign Correspondent and lease space at the ABC's Sydney headquarters in Ultimo. The measures triggered a wave of criticism about the funding squeeze imposed on the broadcaster by the Coalition in recent federal budgets.

ABC News, 27 June 2020: 

The ABC put forward two separate proposals offering to open more regional Australian studios, expand its coverage of remote communities and hire more journalists in rural areas in return for the federal government dumping its decision to freeze annual funding indexation. 

Correspondence between ABC managing director David Anderson and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher and seen by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, show the national broadcaster was prepared to invest tens of millions of dollars more outside capital city centres if the Morrison government was prepared to reverse its budget cuts. 

In a proposal made after the Black Summer bushfires in January, ABC management told Mr Fletcher the national broadcaster would be able to find $10 million a year to employ more regional journalists if indexation was restored

Mr Anderson's letter, sent to Mr Fletcher on January 24, said he was writing to ask the government to consider a reversal of the indexation pause, which is expected to cost the broadcaster up to $84 million over three years, to safeguard the future sustainability of the ABC. 

"If indexation was restored, combined with savings and efficiencies that the ABC has identified in recent months, the Corporation would be in a position to commit an additional investment of up to $10 million per annum to employ more journalists in regional Australia and generate more content from regions for the local and national stories," Mr Anderson wrote. 

Several government sources have confirmed Mr Fletcher did not reply to the letter, nor did he discuss the proposal with the ABC or his National Party colleagues, who have constantly raised concerns over the future of regional media outlets, following a spate of natural disasters including last summer's fires.... [my yellow highting]

The Saturday Paper, 27 June 2020: 

Two days before the ABC confirmed that up to 250 jobs will be cut across the organisation, the federal government finalised a $200,000 offer for consultants to prepare a report on news and media business models looking specifically at the impact of public broadcasters “on commercial operators”. 

An approach to market for the report was closed on Monday, with the federal Communications Department under minister Paul Fletcher requesting the successful bidder evaluate failed, successful and emerging news media operating models from around the world. 

As it happens, a key requirement of the research, due before the end of August, is also a hobby horse of the ABC’s commercial rivals. 

The tender asks consultants to examine “the role of publicly-funded (non-commercial) media organisations in the production and dissemination of news and media content in the comparable jurisdictions, and the impacts and interactions of publicly-funded entities with commercial operators”. 

This is the argument News Corp makes against the ABC: that it is cutting into the audiences of commercial enterprises such as Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, websites and pay television business. 

“The report will be used as an input to inform policy advice and decision-making in relation to the news and media sectors. The end-users of the report include Commonwealth officials, relevant Ministers, and their staff,” the tender documents say. 

“The report is not intended for public release.”......

BACKGROUND

ABC News, 26 June 2029: 

The ABC has not only helped shape Australia, we are the national voice that unites us. 

It’s about democracy. Without the ABC we would have a balkanised and parochial bunch of broadcasters that are in danger of being compromised by profit and more intent on dividing than unifying. 

Imagine what it would be like during the bushfire season if we had to rely only on state-based or even regionally based media outlets. When we are in the middle of bushfires, don’t we want to know that they are being covered by a knowledgeable and experienced network of journalists with all the supporting infrastructure of a large national network? 

The ABC, funded by all of us, regardless of our creed – race, age, political beliefs – is us. It’s the way we build cross-cultural understanding, the way we help each other in times of need. It’s who we are collectively. Why would anyone want to diminish that and make us less than who we are? 

This has been a devastating week for the ABC. With unemployment at an all-time high to have to inform up to 250 people they no longer had a job has been an incredibly difficult task. 

Cuts to services caused by the ongoing reduction in our budget forced this action upon us and although we knew what had to be done, our hearts were with our employees. 

Let me clarify the cuts because there seems to be some confusion in Government circles about them. The 2018 Budget papers clearly state that the Government’s savings measures reduce funding to the ABC by $14.623 million in 2019-20, $27.842 million in 2020-21, and $41.284 million in 2021-22. This reduction totals $83.75 million on our operational base. 

It is true that over the three years the ABC budget does still increase but by a reduced amount, due to indexation on the fixed cost of transmission and distribution services. Previously, it was rising by a further $83.75 million over the same three years for indexation on our operational base. This is the funding that has been cut and considered a saving by the government. 

These funding cuts are unsustainable if we are to provide the media services that Australians expect of us. Indexation must be renewed. 

The strength of the ABC and its relationship with the nation comes from the very people who work for us. They are passionate about public broadcasting and are prepared to work for less than they would be paid by commercial media to deliver it. The creativity in the programs they produce, the dogged and independent journalism they pursue and the connection with communities everywhere they provide through conversations is at the very heart of what the ABC delivers to our audiences. 

The ABC has a statutory requirement to operate as efficiently as possible. We have a strong track record in identifying savings and reinvesting them in services. This is how we created ABC News 24, ABC iview and a range of packages to boost services in rural and regional Australia. 

There is no other authority better placed to manage the ABC than the ABC itself. We know our business and we are determined to honour our commitment to independence. All Australians expect this of us just as they expect the Government to provide the appropriate funds to allow us to do so. 

The ABC is essential in generating and preserving Australia’s democratic culture. An independent, well-funded national broadcaster allows Australians, wherever they live, to connect. It is how we share our identity, how we tell our stories, how we listen to each other, how we ask for help and how we give it. 

 Ita Buttrose AC OBE 
 ABC Chair

Friday, 26 June 2020

Australian Prime Minister is urging states to push ahead with reopening despite COVID-19 outbreaks


We always said that we were not going for eradication of the virus. Other economies tried that and their economy was far more damaged than ours. And so we have to ensure that we can run our economy, run our lives, run our communities, alongside this virus.” [Australian Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison speaking on ABC radio program PM, 22 June 2020]

Financial Review, 22 June 2020:

A fresh outbreak of coronavirus in Victoria should not stop moves to reopen the economy, according to Scott Morrison, as one state delayed plans to reopen its borders and others contemplated new travel restrictions.

With Victoria recording a spike in cases because of what experts said was tardy adherence to safety protocols, thousands living within six local government jurisdictions were told not to leave their area unless essential.  

As the state introduced the toughest COVID-19 measures currently in Australia in an effort to contain the spike, the Prime Minister agreed it was a "wake-up call" but said setbacks were anticipated when he announced more than a month ago that the states were to reopen their economies by July. 

"This is part of living with COVID-19. And we will continue on with the process of opening up our economy and getting people back into work,'' Mr Morrison said.....

This was Scott Morrison at his uncaring, bullying best last Monday.

So what does "living with COVID-19" actually mean?

Well for 104 people it meant death, with 3 elderly victims dying at home and 30 in nursing homes.

It means there are still active COVID-19 cases in 4 Australian states and some people are still becoming sick enough to require an intensive care hospital bed.

Living with COVID-19 also means community transmission of the disease remains an issue in Australia, as well as people entering/exiting the country while infected.

The pandemic growth may have significanly slowed in Australia but it has not stopped, every day the average number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grow by around 12 people.

All this clearly indicates that the SARS-CoV-virus is not passively responding to successive state public health orders. What was happening is that collectively we had gone to great lengths to avoid coming into contact with this deadly virus thereby avoiding spreading COVID-19 disease.

When this collective action begins to fragment as more and more businesses, entertainment and sporting venues open, state borders are no longer closed and more international flights are allowed into the country, the virus which lives only to mindlessly replicate in as many human bodies as possible will quickly begin to infect larger numbers of people again.

It is highly likely that the resultant disease growth rate will not be able to be described as a "spike" or "setback". For Scott Morrison is stubborn. He will force the states and territories, along with communities and families, to keep exposure to the virus at a dangerously high level simply because he intends to open up the economy and go full bore ahead by July.

So why does the economy have to 'open' in July? 

Not because Morrison really cares about one of his favourite slogans, "jobs and growth". No, 'Emperor' Scott is afraid his own party and its financial backers will finally realise that he has no clothes and the economy is that scrap of cloth he is clutching to cover his nakedness.

It's all about hanging on to personal political power and his lucrative salary as prime minister - and he doesn't care how many people have to die or become chronically ill in order to achieve this.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Riddle me this.....


Q: What do Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme, the federal drought relief plan, bushfire recovery response funding and COVID-19 pandemic response have in common?

A: It seems the answer to this riddle is Morrison Government mismanagement, parsimony and, an almost pathalogical inability to keep policy promises.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) commenced on 1 July 2013 and had an annual budget of $148.8 million. The initial 2013-14 budget was underspent by $18 million.

In the following financial years NDIS ran an operating surplus of $0.4 million in 2014-15, $15.8 million in 2015-16, $617 million in 2016-17, $146 million in 2017-18 and $ 694.4 million in 2018-19.

Despite growing concerns about the slow rollout of this scheme and allegations of poor services and needs not met, in 2018 est. $1.6 billion dollars was removed from NDIS and returned to federal government coffers to bolster that financial year's budget bottom line.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On 1 September 2019 the $5 billion FutureDrought Fund was created by siphoning $3.96 billion from the Building Australia Fund. It consists of the Future Drought Fund Special Account and the investments of the Future Drought Fund. Fund earnings are to be reinvested until the balance reaches $5 billion (expected in 2028-29).

As of 31 March 2020 the Future Drought Fund was holding $3.99 billion, of which a total of $23 million is net earnings – an investment return of only 0.7 per centFrom 1 July 2020 there is a Morrison Government undertaking that the poorly performing fund will transfer $100 million each financial year to the Agriculture Future Drought Resilience Special Account despite the fact that it does not have the required balance of $5 billion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On 6 January 2020 Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison announced the federal government would allocate $2 billion for the National Bushfire Recovery Fund (NBRF).

At the time of the announcement $1.6 billion was unallocated.

The 2019-20 bushfire season officially ended on 31 March 2020.

As of 15 May 2020 only a total of $1 billion of the $2 billion in NBRF funding has been spent.

Of the 26 programs being funded by NBRF: 6 do not commence until 1 July 2020; only 3 have fully spent allocated funding with another demand driven program running over budget (funding provided to farmers, fishers, and foresters located in declared bushfire affected areas); and, the remaining 16 programs have spent from 0% (mental health support for emergency services workers) to 89% (additional emergency relief delivered by charities, plus financial counselling) of their allocated funding.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On 20 March 2020 the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians & Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck announced temporary funding to support Aged Care providers, residents, staff and families - including $234.9 million for a COVID-19 ‘retention bonus’ to ensure the continuity of the workforce for aged care workers in both residential and home care.
This retention bonus would have seen a total of $1,600 tax-free paid in two installments to direct care workers and $1,200 tax-free paid in two installments to those providing care in the home.

However, by 5 June 2020 and ahead of the first installment being delivered, the Morrison Government announced a change to the 'retention bonus'. The bonus will now be capped at $800 for direct care workers, $500 for those providing care in the home and will now be taxed at the individual's marginal tax rate with most aged care workers losing est. >30% of the bonus. 

This measure is expected to save the Morrison Government somewhere in the vicinity of $50 million.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On 31 March 2020 Scott Morrison headed a joint media event with two of his ministers at which it was announced that the federal government was committing $50 million to fund 3.4 million meals for 41,000 older and/or vulnerable people for 6 weeks – the equivalent of two meals a day for which there is a cost to Meals-on-Wheels clients. In addition $9.3 million was set aside to buy 36,000 emergency food supplies boxes to assist this same group to stay safe at home.

The purchase cost to government of these food supply boxes averages out at ext. $258 per box. It does not appear to be value for money.

On 5 June 2020 The Guardian revealed that only 38 food supply boxes had been delivered to date. In all probability because the contents of these boxes were decided by individual grocery chains and came at a cost to vulnerable recipients of $80 per box from Coles and Woolworths.

An additional impediment was that the Morrison Government initially restricted food supply box eligibility to people over 70 years of age who were registered with the National Disability Insurance Scheme or My Aged Care. This locked out so many older Australians with health condtions which made potential exposure to COVID-19 infection high risk.

Now desperate to rid itself of the remaining 36,962 boxes the only eligibility requirement seems to be that you are a registered online customer of a supermarket chain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Like most political bullies 'Scotty From Marketing' Morrison runs away when he is publicly caught out


Crikey inq, 1 June 2020

Crikey inq, 1 June 2020: 

It’s been a while since Australian politics saw an act as gutless as Scott Morrison’s on Friday. 

Mere minutes after the prime minister finished another of his interminable post-national cabinet monologues and walked away from journalists, Government Services Minister Stuart Robert issued a media release revealing one of the most expensive backflips in Commonwealth history. The government would repay at least $720 million in fake debts it had “raised” against welfare recipients under the now discredited robodebt scheme. 

 At a media conference conveniently on the Gold Coast, rather than before the same journalists Morrison had just walked out on, Robert tried to claim he’d moved quickly to address the scheme’s flaws: “the information presented to me saw a change in November, I acted swiftly on behalf of the government to pause debt recovery and to refine the system.” 

Robert refused to apologise to the 373,000 victims (at a minimum) of the scheme. Christian Porter, appearing on the ABC yesterday, also refused to apologise. Both at least fronted the cameras. 

Scott Morrison ran away. 

Coward. 

This was Scott Morrison’s scheme, one he — the former social services minister — proudly boasted about as treasurer in the 2016 election campaign, claiming it would pump billions into the budget bottom line. 

Now it’s fodder for a Friday afternoon garbage dump, with junior ministers sent out to publicly eat the shit sandwich. 

It’s unlikely the scheme will ever generate a single cent of additional revenue, given the repayment, the likely compensation, the legal costs associated with a number of cases, and the extraordinary costs of implementing the supposedly automated scheme, including the siccing of debt collectors onto innocent welfare recipients. 

Morrison and his colleagues, and the Social Services public servants who devised and implemented the scheme, will be hoping to avoid accountability for the debacle, which goes back to a single fact: there was always a serious question mark over the legality of the mechanism at the heart of robodebt, income averaging. 

The government gave up pretending income averaging was lawful last November, just before settling the case brought by Deanna Amato in the Federal Court. 

Robert is trying to pretend that that was when the penny dropped about income averaging, and the government is refusing to say how long it knew about the lack of a legal basis for its flagship savings measure. 

As is now well documented, however, the lack of a lawful basis was clear from early on. 

Social security law expert Matthew Butt raised serious questions about the legality of income averaging in early 2017, noting the limitations on its use under legislation and that Human Services’ own guidelines recommend that averaging be used selectively. 

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) member Terry Carney found that there was no legal basis for the debts raised at the same time, in decisions the government declined to appeal. The government instead dumped Carney from the tribunal while it stacked it with former Coalition MPs, staffers and party members. ....

Why did public servants prepare and implement a scheme they knew had a strong chance of being found unlawful? Was legal advice sought? Or did Social Services, like the Department of Health in the sports rorts scandal, refuse to obtain legal advice it knew would show there was no legal basis for the proposed actions? 

The financial cost of the debacle is only one aspect. Robodebt needlessly inflicted misery and anxiety of hundreds of thousands of Australians. The number of suicides caused by the receipt of automatically generated debt letters is unlikely to ever be known. 

Throughout, the bureaucrats involved have sought to stymie or evade accountability. In the most recent round of Senate estimates hearings, departmental officials like Social Services secretary Kathryn Campbell refused to provide basic information, like the number of victims of income averaging, to a Senate committee. 

Similar obfuscation is likely to be used against attempts by the Senate to establish the crucial issue of how much Social Services knew about the unlawfulness of income averaging when the scheme was crafted in 2015, what advice was sought and what was communicated to the minister.....

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Morrison Government's political backers have spoken and plans for biosecurity levy are abandoned



ABC News, 20 May 2020:

After more than a year of lobbying by cement, minerals and freight industry groups, the Federal Government has abandoned a promise that would raise hundreds of millions of dollars to protect Australian farmers from pests and diseases.

In 2018, Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud announced the Government would raise $325 million over three years through a biosecurity levy.

The Budget outlined a proposed $10.02 biosecurity charge per 20-foot container, and a $1 per tonne levy on bulk imports coming via the sea to be imposed from July 1, 2019, with the funds raised used to detect and screen for exotic pests and diseases.

The 2019 Budget saw that deadline postponed until September 2019, but legislation for the levy was never introduced.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Agriculture Water and Environment said the levy could not be implemented without significant impacts on industry and proposed levy payers.

"A levy will not be progressed and this decision will not impact on the overall biosecurity budget," it said.

The statement thanked the industry working group that consulted on the levy, and said the decision had been made "in consideration of the impact of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 on the economy"….

The Cement Industry Federation was part of a consortium of industry groups including the Minerals Council of Australia, Australasian Railway Association, Australian Chamber of Commerce, Manufacturing Australia, the Australian Logistics Council, and Gas Energy Australia that rejected the proposed levy....


The levy on freight was first proposed by a review of Australia's biosecurity services in 2017, which found widespread agreement that biosecurity was underfunded in Australia.

The decision not to introduce the levy comes as Australian farmers face uncertain trading conditions following years of drought and recent pest incursions, which could cost industry hundreds of millions of dollars.

This year alone, Australian farmers have found new worrying detections of the fall armyworm and banana-destroying Panama disease, while Queensland prawn farmers expected to lose millions to an outbreak of white spot disease.

Meanwhile, the pork industry still fears it could experience an outbreak of the pig-killing African Swine Fever.

The disease spread through Asia, wiped out a quarter of the world's pig population and was recently detected in Papua New Guinea.

If it were to reach Australia, the pork industry estimates it could cost the Australian economy $2 billion.

National Farmers' Federation chief executive Tony Mahar said the decision to axe the levy was a "blow to Australia's farmers".

"The uncertainty this levy proposal has created — particularly given the current circumstances — is a poor look for government," Mr Mahar said.

The Department of Agriculture Water and Environment did not make a spokesperson available, but said Australia's biosecurity systems underpinned $60 billion in agricultural production, $49 billion in agricultural exports and $42 billion in inbound tourism.

Mr Littleproud's office has been contacted for comment.