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Record high fuel costs force retirement of more Qantas services.

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Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, the Service Economy & Tourism

Record high fuel prices have forced Qantas to announce it will retire more regional services as the tourism sector continues to flat line, Shadow Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said.

''As the Rudd Labor Government continues to do next to nothing to help the struggling tourism sector, Qantas has announced the retirement of QantasLink's six remaining Dash 8 100 36-seat aircrafts,'' Mr Ciobo said.

''Qantas makes it clear record high fuel prices have made it difficult for it to continue the Dash 8 100 series and as a result, the maintenance base in Mildura will close in August.

''Qantas is also exiting the Melbourne - Wollongong route next month and permanently withdrawing QantasLink services between Newcastle and both Melbourne and Sydney.

''This is a major blow for local tourist businesses which rely on these domestic services to bring visitors to their region, and comes on the back of nearly $1 billion of new tourism taxes introduced by Labor in May's Federal Budget.

''I call on the Rudd Labor Government to explain why it continues to do nothing to help the struggling tourism industry, one of Australia's biggest employers.

''How long will Mr Rudd continue to sit back and watch fuel prices climb, as airlines and tourist businesses reduce services and cut back staff, before he actually does anything?

''Since the election of the Rudd Labor Government, Mr Rudd has done nothing to effectively lower fuel prices which are crippling the tourism sector.

''Cutbacks in the aviation sector are having flow-on effects to local tourist businesses which largely rely on domestic tourism.

''Jobs have reportedly been axed in Queensland, and this will only get worse if the Federal Government doesn't step in and help the aviation sector.''