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Government shrugs off impact of air fare increases on regional and domestic travellers.

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Media Release


Cheryl Kernot MP

Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Services


28 September 1999





Shadow Minister fo r Transport and Regional Development Cheryl Kernot has accused the Government of showing a total lack of concern about the impact of the GST on regional and domestic air travel and tourism.


Ms Kernot said that Acting Treasurer John Fahey’s response to her question on domestic air fare increases by Qantas and Ansett showed the Government was more interested in looking after international and business travellers than ordinary Australians who fly locally and interstate.


“Yesterday’s announcement by Qantas and Ansett that air fares will rise by 7.5 per cent following the introduction of the GST makes a mockery of the Government’s promise that the GST package would cut the cost of air travel,” Ms Kernot said.


“But the Acting Treasurer’s answer to my question today also reveals that the Government thinks it’s more important to look after international travellers and business travellers than Australians who travel to visit relatives or go on holidays within the country.


“This is a big country and many Australians use air travel to get around for many different reasons."


Ms Kernot said the fare increases would also have an impact on Australians in regional areas who often rely on air travel for practical reasons — including medical visits and for schooling purposes - rather than simply for holidays.


Ms Kernot said the increases were just one more example of where regional Australia would be worse off under a GST. “People in rural and regional areas are deeply concerned about the impact of the GST,” Ms Kernot said, “and so they should be, when we have the Acting Treasurer shrugging off concerns about these fare increases.”


Contact: Jacqui Flitcroft 02 6277 4328 or 0419 395 705



rw  1999-09-30  13:27