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Government must act now to save Ansett jobs.



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19 September 2001

GOVERNMENT MUST ACT NOW TO SAVE ANSETT JOBS

The Howard Government must act immediately to save the jobs of Ansett workers threatened by a Qantas plan to bring in foreign air crews and jets, Shadow Transport Minister, Martin Ferguson, said today.

With thousands of Australian workers and dozens of planes grounded and waiting to fly, why should Qantas be forced to bring in foreign jets and crews?

Qantas chief Geoff Dixon said this morning:

“There is an issue about bringing in aircraft very quickly that are being flown by foreign crews. We're going to be discussing that with various interested parties today.

“But the only way that you can get aircraft very, very quickly is to bring them in short term, flown by foreign crews, while we can then gear up, buy aircraft, to put Australian crews in them.” (2UE, 19/09/01)

This is a desperate situation that requires fast Government action, and Transport Minister John Anderson must immediately take measures to find ways that grounded Ansett planes and staff can fly again.

Qantas says it has been forced to approach a foreign carrier, believed to be Air Canada, because of problems negotiating an agreement with the Ansett administrator to use Ansett aircraft.

The Federal Government must step in immediately with a short-term contingency plan because there is no good reason why Australian people and planes can’t fill the excess demand.

Australia’s air services are under extreme pressure to meet demand at the moment, tourism operators are in crisis and the Government should do everything in its power to get Australian planes flying again.

Contact: Dimitri Serghis 0418 310 410

Shadow M inister for Regional Developm ent, Transport, Infrastructure, Regional Services and Population

Martin Ferguson MP

MEDIA RELEASE