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Foreign control of Qantas will see jobs and quality fly out the window.



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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Lyn Allison Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Victoria

Dated: 23 November 2006 Press Release Number: eiceykwt Portfolio: Transport

Foreign control of Qantas will see jobs and quality fly out the window The Democrats today criticised the Governments hands off approach to yet another major foreign takeover.

Treasurer Peter Costello is not fooling anyone when he says it is vital to keep such an important symbol in Australian hands, said Australian Democrats Leader Lyn Allison.

Sure, a 49% foreign shareholding is less than a majority, but the Treasurer should be experienced enough to know that the 49%, voting as a bloc, will control the company.

He knows perfectly well that in the right circumstances controlling interests in corporations can occur with just a 15% shareholding.

The majority 51% Australian shareholding will be held by a dispersed group of entities and people, many of whom wont even bother to vote. And those who do vote may vote differently, some votes cancelling out others.

A 49% foreign shareholding is almost guaranteed to choose and control the board.

Whether those directors are Australian or foreign, they will follow the orders of the controlling interests that appointed and elected them.

This kind of takeover of the Flying Kangaroo will mean the shedding of Australian jobs, a reduction in service quality and the downgrading of maintenance.

Will the Treasurer, through the FIRB impose conditions to protect jobs and safety? Not if previous takeovers are anything to go by, concluded Senator Allison

Printed: 24 November 2006

Authorised by: Nina Burridge, 711 South Road, Black Forest, SA 5035. http://www.democrats.org.au/news/index.htm