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Thursday, 5 December 2013
Page: 1785

Ms HENDERSON (Corangamite) (13:52): I rise to express my extreme concern about reports that Jetstar is on the verge of closing down its operations at Avalon Airport, north of Geelong. Just last month, Qantas announced that 299 people would lose their jobs at its heavy maintenance base at Avalon. In the city of Geelong, part of which I represent, we have had enough, particularly given the number of job losses at other major employers such as Ford, Boral, Fonterra and Target.

We are a strong and resilient people. But, frankly, I say to Qantas and Jetstar: you simply cannot desert us. Today I am calling on Qantas to put its faith in the people of Geelong and its faith in our regional airport of which we are so proud. Invest in better schedules, invest in your passengers and you will be rewarded. The news from Qantas today is very grim: another 1,000 jobs to go. But I say to Qantas: you cannot build a business by walking away from those who have supported you.

For the past five years, I have been a very strong advocate for Avalon and its potential as a jobs and transport hub for our region. I will do everything I can to fight to keep Jetstar at Avalon Airport. To Qantas: we as a city will not give up on you. Please don't give up on us.