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Thursday, 6 March 2014
Page: 1902


Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (14:21): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister. Given that the government's proposed changes to the Qantas Sale Act will allow Qantas to move maintenance workers and engineers overseas, has the government conducted a risk analysis on the consequences of transferring Qantas maintenance overseas?

Mr TRUSS (Wide BayDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (14:21): The member speaks as though Qantas do not have service undertaken overseas now. He would know as a former transport minister that a lot of their service activities occur overseas. As I said at this despatch box a couple of days ago, their new A380 fleet—

Ms Owens interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Parramatta will desist or leave the chamber—one or the other.

Mr TRUSS: You cannot reasonably expect an airline to set up a huge service facility to do major service on an A380 when you have only got 12 in your fleet and the first one, as I understand it, will require a major service for the first time in about 2020. The 747s are being phased out. You cannot keep a service facility in this country to service aircraft like that. So, in reality, Qantas are already having quite a bit of their service done overseas, including in Christchurch in New Zealand and at other places.

Ms Owens interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Parramatta will leave the chamber under 94(a).

The member for Parramatta then left the chamber—

Mr TRUSS: Perhaps a more serious part of the honourable member's question, however, is the issue of safety and the assurance that safety standards will be maintained at Qantas, especially during this transition period when a number of staff are going to leave Qantas's employ. I can inform the House that CASA, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, has been in discussions with Qantas to talk about managing these kinds of issues and to put in place appropriate plans to guarantee that, even during this period of transition, Qantas will maintain its enviable reputation as a safe conveyor of passengers from point to point with its wonderful safety record. Both Qantas and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority are conscious of the need to address these issues, and I am sure that that is a clear and very important part of their plans into the future.