I had the pleasure of spending the day with Ballarat Federal MP Catherine King in her hometown, meeting with local business owners, council representatives and Ballarat residents.
Catherine and I attended a lunch with around 80 local business owners, where I talked about the opportunities open to Ballarat in a world where we’re seeing Australia growing as the fastest of the advanced economies, in the most dynamic growth region in the world.
One of the issues I discussed was how Australia, and Ballarat, can benefit from the Asian Century. Tourism Australia predicts that by 2020 we could see 860,000 Chinese visitors to Australia each year, with the potential to contribute significantly to our economy. With a strong background in the tourism sector, Ballarat is well placed to benefit from the millions of Chinese that are now entering the middle class, and spending. Destinations like Sovereign Hill led the way in demonstrating how early engagement efforts with Asia can result in local economic advantages.
I’d like to thank Catherine and her electorate office for showing me around Ballarat. As I said on the day, it’d been too long since I had last visited Ballarat, and I look forward to returning soon.