Abbott Government Gags QANTAS Debate

Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird and Member for Throsby Stephen Jones were outraged today by the Abbott Government’s attempts to ram the Qantas Sale Amendment through Parliament.

“There are many Qantas workers who live in the Illawarra whose jobs are under threat from this legislation” Sharon Bird said.

“To not allow representatives to stand up and fight for local jobs is just outrageous.”

“It is a disgrace that the Government has used their numbers to gag the debate on this major decision on our national airline. This has huge ramifications for workers and their families.”

When Qantas was privatised in 1992, the Keating Government put in place the Qantas Sales Act to ensure Qantas jobs stayed in Australia and the national carrier was based in Australia.  The changes announced by the Abbott Government will remove these protections.

 “By trying to gag their own legislation the Abbott Government has shown they do not have confidence in their ability to manage this critical issue”, said Jones.

 “The Prime Minister is once again struggling to convert his three-word slogans into serious policy.”

“This has been a chaotic debate, and the way it has been handled by the Government over the last month has been nothing short of a disgrace.”

“We have seen a Cabinet Minister backgrounding the media on what they intend to do. The Treasurer himself sending smoke signals about the possibility of a debt guarantee and then the Prime Minister saying the exact opposite” said Jones.

“The Government needs to stop playing games, get their house in order and start fighting for Australian jobs”, said Ms Bird.

“In the wake of Holden, Toyota and Alcoa shutting up shop – we simply cannot afford to have any more local jobs go overseas.”

6 March 2014