Risky tourism business: tourism statuary corporations in Western Australia and New South Wales

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Jenkins, JM & Stolk, P 2003, 'Risky tourism business: tourism statuary corporations in Western Australia and New South Wales' in RW Braithwaite & RL Braithwaite (eds), Proceedings of the Council of Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education Conference: Riding the wave of tourism and hospitality research, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW. ISBN: 1863844899


Statutory authorities have been familiar and significant features of Australia's political economy. Through case studies of the Global Dance Affair in Western Australia (WA) and the 'bed tax' dispute in New South Wales (NSW), particular attention is directed to three important aspects of the highly political settings in which tourism statutory corporations operate in Australia's modern capitalist state: the relationships between economic and political power; clarity in responsibility for decision-making and action; and the wider economic, political and social settings within which corporations are established and operate. The pro -development and entrepreneurial foci of statutory authorities in NSW and WA have fuelled much public debate about their general functions, structures and operations and have raised broader concerns about aspects of Australia's system of government. Events surrounding the Global Dance Affair in WA and the bed tax in NSW show why tourism statutory corporations should be investigated with respect to their business-government networks, the extent to which they attempt to blend economic and political power (often unsuccessfully), the difficulties in specifying precisely who is responsible for particular decisions and actions, and the extent to which broader economic and social settings can influence their establishment, functions and operations. In summary, any critical assessment of the structures, roles and functions of statutory authorities must encompass much more than their overt activities.