Key News Update
March 2019 - Volume 2.
Message from the CEO, Richard Munro
Wages must keep pace with business outcomes, not outpace them

The accommodation industry has been on a year on year growth cycle up until the last quarter of 2018, where supply finally caught up with demand. Our big data friends at STR analysed our industry and the conclusion was drawn on the release of the trading figures.
It is hoped this is a temporary pause.

What concerns our members when this sort of pause occurs is the speculation of big wage increases (6% + 5.5% = 11.5%, actually compounded is closer to a massive 12% increase of your biggest expense over two years) being touted by the likes of Sally McManus the secretary of the peak union body, the Australian Council of Trade Unions. As I mentioned to a member of AAoA the other day, big ambit claims are nothing new from the union at this time of year, ahead of the Fair Work Commission FWC (Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal. It was established by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act)), deliberating over what quantum they will lift the minimum wage by, or in a very rare scenario leave it alone. This time this issue is getting more media airtime given a Federal Election is upon us and the comments by Ms McManus are unfairly fueling expectations of workers, which is typical union reckless behaviour. 

This week Labor handed a submission over to the FWC urging it to give an above-inflation increase to the 2.2 million Australians on the minimum wage. Inflation is around 1.8 percent and it must be remembered we have shouldered successive increases above 3% for the past three years. 

The FWC last year increased Australia's minimum wage by 3.5% to AUD $719.2 a week starting on July 1st, 2018, citing a healthy national economy and labour market. The 3.5% increase is well above the 1.9% rate of inflation, meaning a real rise in wages of 1.6% for Australia’s lowest paid workers. Minimum Wages in Australia averaged AUD $615.17 /week from 2007 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of AUD $719.20 /week in 2018 and a record low of AUD $522.12 /week in 2007.

So effectively, while we have had successive increases, the real question is - has this translated into spending in our sector? That is the counter argument to keeping wages at a quicker pace of growth.
We support the independence of the FWC, we are also concerned when major political parties try to interfere with what is a robust, costly process to arrive at a decision as they did around reducing penalty rates to 250% from 275% on Sundays and Public Holidays. 

We encourage our members to speak to your local members about what a near 12% increase in real wages would do to your business if the union had its way. Please also remember that this is an ambit claim by the unions and we rely on the deliberations of the members of the Fair Work Commission to make a balanced and fair decision on this annual national case.

Lastly, thank you to all of the members and industry that have participated in the AAoA annual industry survey, the results are flooding in and we look forward to sharing those with our members soon. If you have not yet has your say please do so before the end of the month – link here
THIS MONTH: Rate Parity
If you haven't heard already - this month has been a very rewarding one for the Accommodation Association of Australia, thanks to our CEO - Richard Munro. One of the main issues he has been lobbying is that of rate parity. Great news coming from both Labor and Liberal, with promises to protect accommodation providers from online travel agencies (OTAs).
Below are just a few news releases following this announcement:
Media Release - Labor to ban price parity clauses between online travel agencies and accommodation providers

Click Below for the full article
Letter - From Shadow Assistant Treasurer, The Hon Dr Andrew Leigh, Addressed to Richard Munro, the Accommodation Association and its Members

Click Below to read to full letter
Radio Interview- Catch Richard Munro on Money News with Ross Green, being interviewed about the effects of OTA's and welcoming the announcement

Click Below to listen to the full interview
News Screen
Brisbane’s Howard Smith Wharves precinct has opened the doors to its newest hotel, with Accor this week welcoming guests for the first time to ‘The Fantauzzo’ in the city’s new cultural hub. Inspired by Australian artist Vincent Fantauzzo, the $100 million, six-storey hotel has been carved into the cliff underneath the city’s iconic Story Bridge.

Click Here for the Full Article
Small hotels would be able to advertise online cheap room rates without fear of being punished by web behemoths under a plan Labor says will reduce the financial squeeze facing the tourism sector.

Click Here for the Full Article
Tourism Research Australia (TRA) has released a new report: Chinese Free and Independent Travellers – their potential for Regional Australia. The report focusses on the Chinese free and independent travellers or FIT market who are more likely to stay longer and disperse beyond Australia’s major gateway cities  

Click Here for the report.

The Accommodation Association of Australia is pleased to provide the following submission to be considered as part of the Parliament of Western Australia Legislative Council Select Committee inquiry into short-stay accommodation in Western Australia.

Click Here for the Full Submission

Website Update! NEW Member Bulletins

Welcoming Member Bulletins to our website! A new way to keep in touch with our members and staying updated with current affairs. You will now find previous Key New Updates and Member Bulletins on the same page. To access the bulletins please login to the AAoA Website.

Click Here to View the changes
Major Event in April: The Launch of the National Advisory Board for Employment

As an industry initiative to support recruitment, retention and education for the industry, the AAoA has formed a National Advisory Board for Employment (NABE). The purpose of the NABE is to provide strategic direction to the AAoA and industry on all employment matters. The NABE is set to launch on the 4th of April 2019 at the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins and plays a key role in guiding and advising the AAoA Academy to support the industry requirements.

Click here for more information about the National Advisory Board for Employment
Upcoming Events

  • Launch of the National Advisory Board for Employment | 4th April | Hosted by Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
  • Darwin Advocacy Update | 11th April
  • Breakfast Panel | 16th April | Hosted by The Star Gold Coast
  • ATHOC Golf Day | 14th May | Colonial Golf Course
  • Adelaide Accommodation Market Update | 21st May | Hosted by Intercontinental Adelaide

For more information on any of the above events, please visit our events calendar at or contact
New AAoA Members

On behalf of the AAoA Board and team, we would like to welcome our newest members -
  • Comfort Inn Spring Hill Terraces (QLD)
  • Comfort Inn Richmond Henty (VIC)
  • Econo Lodge Portland (VIC)
  • Punthill South Yara Grand Hotel Grand (VIC)
  • Veriu Broadway (NSW)
  • Apollo Bay Beachfront Motel (VIC)
  • Mercure Sydney International Airport (NSW)
  • Manly Marina Cove Motel (QLD)
  • Novotel Ibis Melbourne Central (VIC)
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