AFTA members are rising to the call of the National Mobilisation Program and joining the drive to secure sector-specific support of $125 million from the federal government.

Yesterday’s powerhouse meeting of travel agents, tour operators, AFTA, state members and a local mayor with the Federal Member for Goldstein, Tim Wilson, followed other meetings on the same theme.

Co-ordinated by Steven Green, Olive Tree Travel, and Keiran Cromie, Brighton Travelworld, yesterday’s gathering drew a stellar lineup to share the reality of life on the travel front line – and amplify the call for tailored and immediate action.

Joining Wilson on the call were state member for Caulfield David Southwick, state member for Brighton James Newbury, state member for Sandringham Brad Roswell and Bayside Council mayor Clarke Martin.

Joining Steven Green and Keiran Cromie in putting the case via Zoom were:

• Julie Avery, Brighton Travelworld
• Kelly Millard and Leanne Sugden, Helloworld Middle Brighton
• Michael Nolan and Chris McGetrick, Bayview Travel
• Anne Fitzgerald, Helloworld Brighton
• Gary Seignior, Hampton Travel & Cruise
• Jenny Watson, Helloworld Bentleigh
• Harry Kopelis, Jetway Travel
• Tony Freedman and Mark Langhorne, Langhorne & James Travel Associates
• Michelle Bandura, Travellers Lounge
• Ceri Pritchard and Hugh Tilley, Black Rock Travel
• Stuart Ingram, Destination HQ
• Carol Evans, Bay Travel & Cruise
• Wayne Ackerfeld, Ackerfeld & Goldberg TA
• APT Touring Chair Simon Jones
• APT Touring Director Rob Mcgeary
• AFTA Chair and Express Travel Group CEO Tom Manwaring
• AFTA Director and Magellan Group CEO Andrew McFarlane
• AFTA CEO Darren Rudd

Below: Yesterday’s powerhouse meeting of travel agents, tour operators, AFTA, state members and a local mayor with the federal member for Goldstein, Tim Wilson.

Co-ordinator Green from Olive Tree Trave, said he was delighted with the responsiveness of Wilson and attending politicians.

“Our mini-summit of local agents and businesses had a very productive hearing with our local member Tim Wilson and key state members David Southwick, James Newbury, Brad Roswell and local Mayor Clarke Martin.

“I shared the reality of a day in the life of an agent at the moment and each and every speaker reinforced the compelling and pressing need for immediate action at a federal and state level. We have a commitment from all attending parliamentarians of their ongoing support and we intend to work closely with them to make sure they have what they need to champion our cause and help us secure the support we so desperately need.

“Tim Wilson had a clear understanding of and empathy for our plight. While he was already supportive and had in fact discussed our plight with Treasury and the Prime Minister’s office, he was grateful for the additional information and promised to continue fighting on our behalf.”

“We are grateful for his support and commitment.”

AFTA chief executive Darren Rudd said the meeting was an example of how much impact a meeting with your local Member of Parliament has.

“Whether it’s a large group like we had today, or a one-on-one meeting, these meetings are such an important channel in making sure our voice is heard and our cause supported, especially during this critical pre-Budget window.”

“AFTA’s National Mobilisation Campaign which complements our own electorate engagement program and direct lobbying at a federal, state and territory level harnesses the power of each and every travel agent, travel wholesaler and tour operator to knock on each and every electorate door across Australia.”

“It’s an approach which makes local Members of Parliament champions of our cause. We need every single AFTA member to use AFTA’s National Mobilisation Program toolkit and activate their local Federal Representative.”

The toolkit including the AFTA and ATAS branded industry produced video is on the AFTA website and available to all travel agents, travel wholesalers and tour operators for use.