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Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Page: 1710


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:00): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to reports today that cabinet rejected a debt guarantee for Qantas after the Treasurer read out Qantas's statement on the carbon price in cabinet. Prime Minister, has the government punished Qantas employees because of Qantas's statement on carbon pricing on Monday?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:00): Absolutely not. This is just a nasty smear from the Leader of the Opposition. I am aware that Qantas today put out a statement—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Could we have some silence on my left. You have asked the question.

Mr ABBOTT: Just so that members of this House should know what the situation is, Qantas has today put out a statement to say:

We have said that the price on carbon is a cost to our business that we have not been able to recover through fare increases …

So there we have it: the carbon tax is a drag on Qantas that it does not need. It is a $106 million hit on jobs at Qantas. We will get rid of the carbon tax, but the Leader of the Opposition wants to leave this $106 million a year hit on Qantas in place.

Mr Shorten: I seek leave to table the statement on Monday where Qantas said the major issues facing Qantas are not related to carbon pricing.

Leave not granted.