As foreshadowed by Global Travel Media back on July 6, when we said that while TQ’s strap line was “Where Australia Shines”, it appeared that all was not as shiny as it might seem in the corridors of government tourism power in Queensland: http://www.eglobaltravelmedia.com.au/z-more/industry-insider-opinion/all-is-not-shining-in-tourism-paradise-minister-on-notice.html, things in the same corridors of tourism power in government in QLD appear to have come to a head.
We reported that in ATE in Perth rumours were rife that a massive split was appearing in Queensland between the State’s Tourism Minister Jan Stuckey and members of the TQ Board, Executives and Ministerial staff, with the split appearing to have become rather more public with Brisbane based The Australian journalist Lisa Allen reporting that TQ Board members Geoff Dixon and Don Morris had resigned from the TQ Board, with the reasons on the grapevine reported to be that their resignations follow the appointment of the state’s new Tourism Minister, Ms Stuckey.
Lisa Allen also reports that respected Commonwealth Games boss and businessman Mark Stockwell and Events Queensland CEO John O’Sullivan also resigned from their government posts and while they all appeared to cite personal reasons or heavy business commitments, according to media reports, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman had put Ms Stuckey on notice after internal clashes with staff and some of the state’s most senior bureaucrats.
With four key professionals having already abandoned Queensland’s tourism ship, just when the State needs all the professional help it can get, with in my opinion on the ground in Queensland, the State’s tourism industry and for that matter in much of the rest of Australia is in serious crisis, with ongoing declining domestic and international visitation and spend, TQ CEO, Anthony Hayes has now suddenly resigned.
Last week, known to be difficult Queensland Tourism Minister Stuckey announced several new TQ Board members, including respected former TQ CEO Stephen Gregg as Chair, but the talks around the traps in QLD are, that along with all other Government departments and agencies in Queensland under the Newman Governments machete style expenditure cuts, TQ is about to have its budgets slashed, with reportedly Mr Hayes having been highly vociferous about the cuts, with his resignation reportedly the result.
In an open letter Mr Hayes said his time at TQ had been an experience he would never forget, “Not everything worked perfectly all the time, but geez we had a red hot go,” adding his time had come, “Someone very wise once told me that being TQ CEO was the best job in the world, but you should only do it until that one morning when you wake up and realise you have reached the end of your time.” “That time has come for me now.” “Now I need to find out what comes next.”
I wonder what happened that morning when Mr Hayes made his decision?
Was it a phone call from Minister Stuckey?
We wish Mr Hayes well in his quest for what comes next!
Industry Insider Commentary and Opinion by John Alwyn-Jones, Global Travel Media Special Correspondent