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Labor caves to Qantas pressure on Sale Act repeal

Media Release
Adam Bandt 27 Mar 2014

The Greens have criticised the Labor Party for backing down on its opposition to selling off Qantas to foreign governments.

The Labor dominated Rural and Regional and Transport Affairs References Committee has recommended the Qantas Sale Act be amended to allow up to 49% of Qantas being owned by foreign investors.

Australians Greens spokesperson for transport Senator Lee Rhiannon said: "This inquiry was set up to investigate options available to the Government to financially assist Qantas in the interests of protecting jobs and the national carrier.

"Labor's first recommendation out of the inquiry is to call for a change in legislation that would allow overseas government owned airlines such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines and China Southern to own up to 49% of Qantas.

"It's clear Labor has caved to pressure from Alan Joyce and senior Qantas management. They are willing to sell off the heart and lungs of the airline, while trying to dud us into believing they want an Australian owned Qantas.

"The Greens are firmly committed to keeping Qantas Australian owned.

Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt said: "The inquiry heard evidence of the domination of government owned and backed airlines in our aviation market.

"Seven out of ten of the largest carriers, by market share, in our region are partially or wholly government owned.

"Alan Joyce, the Coalition and now Labor want to ‘level the playing field' by allowing Qantas to be bought and run by these overseas government owned airlines.

"The Greens want to level the playing field by ensuring that government assistance is available to Qantas as well, potentially in the form of an ownership stake or a debt guarantee. 

"These options will allow the government to financially assist Qantas in the short term as well as impose some conditions on the airline to ensure it is acting in the best interests of its workers and the Australian public.

Click here for the report.

Lee Rhiannon 0487 350 880
Adam Bandt 0439 338 302

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