Celebrating the best of Tasmania's Hospitality Industry Tue 15 May 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Scott Bacon Minister for Hospitality The contribution of two leading identities in Tasmania's tourism and hospitality sectors has been recognised at an awards function in Hobart this evening. The Premier, Lara Giddings and the Minister for Hospitality, Scott Bacon, attended the 2012 Tasmanian Hospitality Awards for Excellence presentation at Wrest Point. The Premier's Award for Contribution to the Community was awarded to David Walsh, whose Museum of Old and New Art has become an internationally-renowned drawcard. "Through MONA, David has generated world-wide attention for our state with what is widely recognised as one of the most exciting tourism experiences in Australia," Ms Giddings said. "We are privileged to have someone of David's passion and commitment sharing his vision with all Tasmanians." The Minister for Hospitality Award for Contribution to the Industry went to renowned hospitality figure Josef Chromy. "Josef's life is nothing short of inspirational," Mr Bacon said. "He arrived in Australia more than 50 years ago with no money and able to speak barely a word of English. "From those beginnings he is now widely recognised as a leading businessman, and a key figure in Tasmania's wine industry." Ms Giddings and Mr Bacon congratulated all award winners, saying the industry had much to be proud of. "The hospitality sector is an important part of our economy and an important part of our lifestyle," Ms Giddings said. "As we've seen from the wide array of award winners tonight, we have plenty of excellent experiences on offer and the future for the industry is looking bright." Mr Bacon said the Government would continue to support the hospitality industry through the $100,000 a year in funding aimed at boosting skills development within the industry. "This government will continue to work with the Tasmanian Hospitality Association towards skills development in our cafes, bars and restaurants to see our hospitality remain up there with the best in the world," he said. "This funding will go towards key initiatives that have been developed through cooperation between the State Government and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association, and will address matters of workforce development and the long-term prosperity of the sector." Mr Bacon said the State Government was also contributing $30,000 towards the upcoming Australian Hospitality Conference in September. "This is the first event of its kind in Australia and will see high quality speakers, hospitality industry operators and representatives from Tasmania, Australia and around the world, right here in Tasmania," he said. "I congratulate all of the individual winners at the 2012 awards and seeing the talent on display it is clear that the Tasmanian hospitality industry has a bright future ahead of it."