Two odd media releases from our esteemed leader appeared in my in-box yesterday (his staff seem to be too confused by having two sites on which to post releases and haven’t put any up in weeks). Once again he is elevating himself above the local mayor role a lot of people wish he’d stick to and declaring that we will be part of not one but two national initiatives.
So what are they?
Well, the first is “a national approach to unethical practices in the inbound tourism industry”. You may remember the stories a few months back of tourists on the Gold Coast being taken to beaches that weren’t really famous and forced to buy uber-expensive dud souvenirs and pay to take pictures of the beaches and so on. Well this is pretty much in response to that.
Mr Stanhope does admit that nothing like this seems to be happening in Canberra, but said “it was important that the Territory remained vigilant”.
“We cannot afford to take chances with such an important industry,” he said. “Nor should we tolerate the idea that those who do us the honour of visiting our country should be subjected to the kind of treatment that has been alleged in some other jurisdictions.â€
And the other great initiative we’ve been signed up to is the somewhat bizarre “national do-not-call register” aimed at stopping telelmarketing. The release is rather vague about what this actually entails, but says it is a bipartisan push (with federal Communications Minister Helen Coonan leading the charge and Our Gazza also putting his weight behind it).
However Mr Stanhope does say, â€œIt is high time people had the chance to opt out of this particular form of marketing, which has significant privacy implications and intrudes directly into the heart of a household in a quite insidious way.”