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Monday, 3 March 2014
Page: 1326


Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (14:46): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to Qantas's announcement last week of 5,000 job losses after they and the market factored in an expectation of government support. When will the government deliver on the expected debt guarantee and what will the implications be for jobs if you walk away from that guarantee?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:47): The basic problem for Qantas is that the party opposite that sold Qantas are not prepared to free Qantas. That is what should happen. Qantas should be free to compete, to survive and to flourish. That is what this government wants to do. One thing I am not going to do is stand at this dispatch box and do what members opposite have done for the last week or so. I am not going to talk Qantas down; I am going to allow Qantas to compete on a level playing field with every other airline in this country, because I have confidence in the workers of Qantas and I have confidence in the staff of Qantas. Unshackle Qantas and they can continue to be one of the world's great airlines.