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Thursday, 6 March 2014
Page: 1828

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (09:21): I second the motion. The fact is that Qantas approached the government for assistance more than three months ago. In November and December government ministers, including the Treasurer and the transport minister, clearly indicated that there would be support for a debt guarantee. Qantas management, the Qantas workforce and Qantas shareholders relied on that. Then, due to an internal battle within the government between the Prime Minister and the Treasurer, on Monday night there was a decision by the cabinet to reject what they, up until then, implied they would support.

Yesterday, there were meetings between Qantas management and its workforce about the loss of 5,000 jobs. Yesterday, the Leader of the Opposition asked the Prime Minister what action had been prepared by the government to provide assistance to those Qantas workers. There was nothing. What we got from the Prime Minister was just more politics. In terms of why this debate should be begun today—