Tourism Director Michael Healy runs for Govt / Newsport

Thursday December 5th 2013

Quicksilver's Michael Healy nominates in race for Cairns

Far North Queensland tourism identity, Michael Healy announced today he will nominate for Labor pre-selection to contest the seat of Cairns once they are called. 


A passionate Labor man all his adult life, Mr Healy cited dissatisfaction with the current representation for Cairns in State Parliament as the motivation for his bid. “Quite simply, Cairns is being ignored.  The people of Cairns desperately need a strong voice that is vocal and effectual whilst understanding the needs of businesses in our city. 


“Our region has lost tens of millions of dollars in projects.  Workers’ rights have been impeded, the cost of living continues to escalate regardless of guarantees provided by the LNP and virtually no money has been allocated to the beautification of Cairns CBD,” said Mr Healy. 


Mr Healy added he has other concerns with the current LNP Government including education, health and tourism. “Tourism is one of the most important industries in Cairns, which contributes $2.2 billion each year into the local economy and employs both directly and indirectly over 18,500 people. 


“As a senior member of the tourism industry, it worries me to see the deplorable state in which Tourism Events Queensland – the conduit between the travel trade and government – has slipped. 


Broken promises and funding cuts in addition to staff retrenchments and no CEO, has resulted in low staff morale and a distinct lack of direction. “The timing could not be worse as we prepare to host the biggest tourism tradeshow in the Southern Hemisphere. 


The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) will be held in Cairns next year and is currently well short of funding.  This is the first time the event has been held out of a capital city and an amazing opportunity for Cairns, as a global tourism destination, to shine.    


“Despite being the Assistant Tourism Minister, I find it remarkable that the Member for Cairns is not doing or saying anything to address the shortfall in either Cairns or Brisbane,” he said. 


Mr Healy’s main concerns include:


Lack of Tourism Funding and Direction:

Cairns needs to be more competitive with other Queensland destinations in securing tourism funding. The State’s peak tourism body is directionless. 


Cost of Living:

The LNP Government promised a reduction in electricity prices of $120 a year.  There has been a more than 22 per cent increase in 2013/14 or on average $228 per household. This represents the largest regulated price increase in Queensland’s history. 


Attack on Workers:

After the sacking of more than 17,000 government workers, the LNP attack continues on all workers through changes to the Workers’ Compensation Scheme and further changes to conditions and job security in the public sector. 


Accountability and Transparency:

The recent LNP sacking of an all-party Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee is not consistent with the promises of accountability and transparency that Campbell Newman campaigned on. 


About Michael Healy:


Mr Healy has served with The Quicksilver Group for almost 10 years and currently holds the position of Group Director of Sales and Marketing. Prior to that he was employed by Down Under Tours, Hilton Hotels (Australia) and The Palm Cove Travelodge. He is Chairman of Access Community Housing, a Director of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, a former Director of Port Douglas Daintree Tourism and serves on a number of both State and Federal Government advisory panels.   

He is married and a parent to two children.