Lee and Senator Nick Xenaphon move to establish a Senate inquiry looking into ways the federal government can assist Qantas to protect the jobs of 5,000 employees and ensure we maintain a highly skilled workforce in Australia.
Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (17:06): I seek leave to amend notice of motion No. 4, in the terms circulated in the chamber, standing in my and Senator Xenophon's name proposing a reference to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee relating to government support for Qantas.
Senator RHIANNON: I move the motion as amended:
(1) That the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 27 March 2014:
Supporting Qantas and Australian jobs, with particular reference to what initiatives should be taken by the Government and the Parliament to ensure Qantas remains a strong national carrier supporting aviation jobs in Australia, including:
(a) a debt guarantee;
(b) an equity stake;
(c) other forms of support consistent with wider policy settings; and
(d) any conditions which should be attached to these.
(2) That, in considering the merits of the above, the committee should investigate:
(a) any national security, skills, marketing, tourism, emergency assistance or other benefits provided by an Australian-owned Qantas;
(b) the level and forms of government support received by other international airlines operating to and from Australia;
(c) the ownership structures of other international airlines operating to and from Australia;
(d) the potential impact on Australian jobs arising from the Government's plan to repeal Part 3 of the Qantas Sale Act 1992;
(e) the direct costs on Australian-domiciled air carriers, including airport charges and depreciation allowances, compared to foreign-based competitors; and
(f) any related matters.