Budget support for skills great news

Media Release: 25 October 2022


With domestic travel accelerating and international travellers returning, tonight’s Budget announcement of $48 million over 4 years from 2022-23 to support recruitment and marketing in the tourism and travel sectors, and for infrastructure upgrades for caravan parks is great news.


It includes a commitment to support the Accommodation Association’s ‘The Hub” platform to connect people to vacancies, foster skills development and showcase Tourism as a career.


Accommodation Australia and Tourism Accommodation Australia have been working closely with Government and relevant Departments to raise awareness of the massive skills gap and workforce challenges confronting the sector.


Quote attributable to Accommodation Association President Leanne Harwood:

“No matter where you go across Australia, the biggest challenge we are all facing as Australia’s Travel and Tourism Sector gets back to normal, is filling the skills shortfall and workforce gap created during COVID. Tonight’s announcement of $10 million in training and skills development will go a long way in helping us attract, educate and re-train the 100,000 staff we need right now including supporting more First Nations Australians, people living with a disability, and older Australians.”


“This is a very welcome shot in the arm for one of the most important sectors driving Australia’s economic recovery, our Visitor Economy. We look forward to continuing to work with the Government as we rebuild together.”


Quote attributable to Tourism Accommodation Association CEO Michael Johnson

“This funding will go a long way to assist with our goals of upskilling existing talent, and attracting more people to return to the workforce and share their skills and knowledge. It will also allow us to spotlight the many career paths that exist in our sector including to those who perhaps haven’t considered it before and help us rebuild.”

Team update as progress towards proposed amalgamation continues

Media Release: 05 September 2022


The Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) today announced Michael Johnson will be supporting the existing team as interim CEO in the lead-up to the proposed amalgamation with Tourism Accommodation Australia expected to be completed mid-2023.

This follows Friday’s key milestone of both the Accommodation Association Council and Australian Hotels Association Board separately agreeing the Scheme of Amalgamation to create the new, united peak body, Accommodation Australia, subject to a member vote and a couple of regulatory steps.

Recruitment for the inaugural CEO role for Accommodation Australia is already under way.

Quote attributable to Accommodation Association President Leanne Harwood:

“Michael will primarily be focused on our core business, ensuring we maintain our focus on Advocacy, National Policy, and delivering services and events that add value for our members. His parallel role with TAA will greatly assist in alignment across these areas.”

“Cass Champion will continue to lead our RTP business with a focus on attracting, training and placing talent, and our career development pathways in hospitality. I know this is important to our members and that they have been seeing the benefits of our work in this space.”

“There’s no doubt staffing remains our biggest challenge, and it’s important to acknowledge the significance of our recent major wins including the Victorian Government’s $5.6 million investment in the Accommodation Association’s Victorian jobs program to support up the placement of up to 400 candidates in regional and metro member properties for at least 12 months; and the Federal Government’s commitment of $10 million to expand and enhance the Accommodation Association’s ‘The Hub’, our market leading portfolio of game-changing programs to build our workforce for members.”

“Thank you to our members for your support to date. This is another step forward to Australia’s Accommodation Sector speaking with one voice to deliver even stronger industry representation for our members.”


The workforce specialist team for the Accommodation Association is still working on attracting, educating and placing people into our members vacancies across the country and here are some good news stories:



“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do now that I had finished school. I signed for the 5-day food and beverage program with little expectations. I was made aware of all the opportunities that were available for someone in the hospitality industry. Not only the ability to travel and work overseas but all the different types of jobs available. I still wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. During the program we covered a lot of different aspects of the industry. We got to make cocktails, coffee and learn how to correctly carry 3 plates full of food. We were also taught how to correctly pour beer and wine and carry a drink tray. Keith was excellent at communicating with me what aspect of the course I liked the most to find me a job that I was interested in. I still wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do but I found a job as a food and beverage attendant and I’m really enjoying it.”

Erika Lockhart



"Working with AA has been an absolute pleasure and we are so happy with the outcome and to be able to share in the start of these amazing ladies' hospitality careers, a huge thank you to the whole AA team!"

 Nick Henderson – General Manager Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport

By Bassel Tallal, National General Manager for Advocacy and Public Policy

October Federal Budget

This week the Albanese Government released its first budget. The Government is backing in the Accommodation Association by committing to expanding the “Hub” platform operated by us to connect people to vacancies, offering skills development and showcasing career pathways in tourism. This is a budget measure aimed at helping address workforce and skills shortages there is an allocation of $48 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to support recruitment and marketing in the tourism and travel sectors, and for infrastructure upgrades for caravan parks. This reflects the Labor Party’s pre-election tourism commitment.

Accommodation Australia and Tourism Accommodation Australia have been working closely with Government and relevant Departments to raise awareness of the massive skills gap and workforce challenges confronting the sector.

“This is a very welcome shot in the arm for one of the most important sectors driving Australia’s economic recovery, our Visitor Economy. We look forward to continuing to work with the Government as we rebuild together” Leanne Harwood, Accommodation Association of Australia President

This is a significant win for our members and we look forward to working with you all as we expand the program to attract new talent and support you in your recovery.

Towards 2032 - Reshaping Queensland's visitor economy to welcome the world

There is a lot of activity in Queensland that the Association has been engaging with, a Tourism Industry Reference Panel was established in March 2021 to review Queensland’s visitor economy. The reference panel recently released its report with 75 recommendations, two recommendations have caused great concern within the Association about the potential impact on our members and which we believe will set back Queensland’s Tourism sector. Recommendation 65 and 66 proposes a Legislative change to provide local governments with the ability to implement a ‘visitor levy’ or ‘Bed Tax’.

We have written to and met with the Queensland Government regarding our opposition to these recommendations, in our engagements the Association discussed that we believe that this is not a sensible policy on any level for a range of reasons, including:

  • It would do the opposite of the vision of the reference panel to turn QLD into a destination of choice for domestic and global visitors, from experience we know it will immediately dampen critical intrastate visitor demand as well as interstate and international demand over the longer term at a time when Accommodation and Tourism are slowly but gradually rebuilding visitor numbers from the unprecedented lows of the past three years.
  • It would disincentivise local investment activity as investors look elsewhere to more favourable overall tax environments to plan and build tourism related investments and grow jobs.
  • Tourists to Australia already pay a direct tourism tax in the form of the Passenger Movement Charge as well as a range of other taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which clearly collects for the services of accommodation.
  • Accommodation operators already pay increased commercial rates to fund council tourism promotion amongst other activities. They pay very high commissions to travel agents and tour operators that generate traffic to their hotel but indirectly to every other tourism business in the area.


We will continue our engagement as the Government takes its time to consider the full report and all recommendations.


Queensland government moves to investigate impacts of the short-term rental market

We also took the opportunity to continue our advocacy around the impact of short-term letting on our industry and workforce. The impact now goes beyond just levelling the playing field, short-term letting is contributing negatively to the housing crisis and impacting our members, especially in regional areas, attracting talent. We requested that the Queensland Government to look at establishing a code of conduct for short-term rental providers, apply affective caps that provide a delineation of those operating full time accommodation outlet in residential premises and establish a state-wide compulsory registration system.

Since our engagement the Queensland Government announced that they will commission industry experts to investigate impacts the short-term rental market is having on the state’s housing supply. In the announcement the Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning Steven Miles said concerns had been raised the number of properties placed on short-term rental sites such as AirBnB and Stayz was worsening the current tight rental market.

The Deputy Premier went on to say

“This work will provide some detailed analysis into the positive and negative impacts of short-term rental accommodation on housing affordability and availability, the tourism industry, property owners and Queensland’s cities and regional communities.”

The Queensland Government hopes the research will be completed by the end of 2022, we look forward to contributing to the study and the impact short-term letting has on our members and their staff. We’re hoping that this will also act as a blueprint for other jurisdictions who are slow to act to start addressing the impacts, we will certainly not be holding back in our advocacy across Australia.

Jobs and Skills Summit outcomes

The Albanese Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit was held in late September, with 36 immediate outcomes and a pathway for dealing with larger issues in the medium and long term outlined. Some of the initial outcomes and actions included:

  • increasing the permanent Migration Program to 195,000 in 2022 23 and providing $36.1 million in additional funding to accelerate visa processing and resolving the visa backlog;
  • a $1 billion one-year National Skills Agreement to fund fee-free TAFE in 2023 and accelerating the delivery of 465,000 additional fee free TAFE places, with 180,000 to be delivered next year;
  • requiring businesses with 100 employees or more to publicly report their gender pay gap to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency;
  • establishing Jobs and Skills Australia to advise on workforce planning; and

As foreshadowed at the Summit, the government has now begun consultations on industrial relations reforms with legislation expected by the end of the year. The broader focus now also turns to the development of an Employment White Paper which will tackle systemic issues relating to migration reform, better alignment of the university and VET sectors, childcare and paid parental leave, and reducing barriers to employment for the most disadvantaged.



Bassel Tallal

Casual Workers Rights to Reject Shifts

The legal definition of casual employment confirms that workers are casuals if they accept a job offer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work according to an agreed pattern of hours.

This means that employers can offer work as required according to labour demands, and the casual worker can elect to accept or reject work.

However, if casuals consistently refuse to work at the times that they should reasonably expect to be needed for work, disciplinary action may be warranted.

The times when casuals could reasonably be needed to work are usually established on commencement of employment.

Qualifying regular casual employees are protected from unfair dismissals if disciplinary action results in a dismissal when employees are not afforded an opportunity to defend their actions and given adequate warnings.

It is important to note that in respect of long-term regular and systematic casual employees, withholding shifts as a disciplinary measure is considered and dealt with in the same way as dismissals – that is, casuals are entitled to the same opportunities and warnings before the action is taken.

Members may contact the Association to discuss this issue or if experiencing any other industrial relations problems.

Enquiries from members are very welcome. Please phone 02 8666 9015 or email [email protected]

Noel Teskey


I received a Director Penalty Notice. What should I do?

The ATO has increased its debt recovery schemes for companies and directors, with part of the strategy involving the issuing of Director Penalty Notices (DPNs). Receiving a DPN is a serious matter for a director, as they can put the director's personal assets in the firing line.


Directors have 21 days to respond to a DPN and avoid personal liability, so it is critical that immediate action is taken following the receipt of a DPN to avoid personal assets being placed at risk.

Read more

Upcoming Events

In spirit of the Accommodation Association and AHA / TAA amalgamation, the decision has been made to co-host events in 2022. We invite our members to attend the following:

Other events to include Hotel Market Update’s in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne.

If you are interested in hosting one of our events or would like to suggest topics or speakers, please contact us via email to [email protected]

Sustainability is a word that has been used extensively in hospitality circles over the past decade and is often regarded as no more than an industry buzzword that defines the environmentally friendly practices of a lodging operation. However, the term has evolved exponentially in recent years to include a range of operational areas that bring social and economic policies together with the environmental impact an organization has on its community, as well as the planet. Where does Sustainability fit into modern hotel operations? How can we bring it to the guestroom? What are the potential cost savings for hotels?


Read More

Why benchmark or how do I maximise the insights I receive from benchmarking with STR.

Recently, STR has refreshed its educational content with a three part series that helps new or experienced users make sure they are extracting the maximum potential from their industry and competitor insights. Each video of approximately ten minutes steps you through seeing the opportunities from the wealth of data, simply putting into a context that can implement decisions and maximise revenue.

To access this complimentary content please click here

Brand new energy deal set to save hoteliers thousands

Is your business currently struggling in the current energy crisis?  Prices are forecast to rise by 35% and above in the next year.  Our energy partner MiC Energy Brokers has exclusive broker access to a new energy plan. 

Click below to find out more

ahs hospitality is excited to announce the endorsement of their Reconciliation Action Plan by Reconciliation Australia.  This endorsement was a year in the making and involved constant investment and contribution by ahs hospitality’s head office. Working in collaboration with other staffing businesses under their parent company RGF Staffing, ahs hospitality learnt how they could become truthtellers and changemakers.

View their Reconciliation Action Plan.

How does the IHS QEHS Management System support your Housekeeping Division?

IHS’ solid reputation as one of the industry leaders has been established over our 24-year journey in the housekeeping industry. During this time, we have deployed numerous innovations and rolled out many projects all of which align and support our clients’ mission, values and sustainability initiatives.

IHS has a comprehensive ISO accredited QEHS Management System called myBayton, which underpins our service delivery and assures all our policies, procedures and practices adhere to ISO Certifications of Quality, Environment, and Health and Safety (QEHS).

Read More about myBayton here

Linkedin  Twitter  Facebook