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Greens accuse Qantas of political stunt in Hobart pull out

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 15 Jan 2014

15 January 2014

The Greens have slammed the decision made by Qantas management to pull out of operations in Hobart and fire 35 staff as a political stunt that ignores the interests of workers and customers.

"This announcement by Qantas is the latest in a series of decisions made by management designed to put political pressure on the federal government," Greens spokesperson for Transport Senator Rhiannon said.

"It follows from the announcement last year that Qantas would sack 1,000 employees. Qantas management are treating their workers with contempt by using them as part of political machinations to lobby the federal government into weakening foreign ownership regulations.

"The Greens will block attempts to weaken foreign ownership regulations. We believe that the national carrier should not only remain Australian owned, but that if Qantas does require a capital injection to remain competitive, that should happen in the form of the Australian government reclaiming at least part ownership of the airline.

"Weakening foreign ownership regulations needs to be called out for what it is - giving a green light to the Chinese, Singaporean and United Arab Emirates governments that they can purchase Australia's national carrier.

"The only foreign companies likely to invest in Qantas if foreign ownership rules are weakened are foreign-government owned carriers such as Emirates, China Southern and Singapore Airlines.

"The federal government should protect the quality and record of our national carrier, and protect the jobs of Qantas workers by seriously considering reclaiming at least part ownership," Senator Rhiannon said.

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