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Monday, 29 August 1994
Page: 481

Senator KEMP (3.28 p.m.) —I rise to speak very briefly on this matter. Some of the matters raised by Senator Spindler are important, and I look forward to hearing the answer. This is part of a wider problem with Qantas in the state of Victoria. People will remember that there was a politically driven merger between Australian Airlines and Qantas. The information I have received from Qantas employees is that the employment position amongst former members of Australian Airlines in Victoria has been hit very, very hard indeed.

  I wrote to Mr Jim Strong a number of weeks ago and asked him for the full facts. I regret to say that I am still waiting to receive a reply. There is very great concern in the state of Victoria amongst people in the airline industry about the effect of the merger on the jobs position. Senator Spindler has pointed to one particular problem, but there are many others in this area. Almost every week we read in the newspapers of further retrenchments in Qantas Airways Limited in Victoria. I hope that the minister, in addressing some of the points made by Senator Spindler, will be able to briefly comment on the wider issue.