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STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS
13/03/2007
Qantas Sale (Keep Jetstar Australian) Amendment Bill 2007
STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS
Senate committee
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
Qantas Sale (Keep Jetstar Australian) Amendment Bill 2007
Final

CHAIR (Senator Ronaldson) —I declare open this meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Economics. This hearing has been convened to receive evidence in relation to the Qantas Sale (Keep Jetstar Australian) Amendment Bill 2007, which the Senate referred to the committee on 1 March 2007. This bill is a private senator’s bill produced by Senator Fielding. If passed, the bill will require Qantas to ensure: first, that Qantas and associated entities—that is, Jetstar—continue to locate their head office and facilities such as catering and maintenance in Australia; second, that two-thirds of the boards of Qantas and associated entities are Australian citizens; and, third, that an Australian citizen presides over any meetings of the boards of directors. This bill would also prohibit Qantas and associated entities from seeking to avoid these requirements. The committee is due to report to the Senate on 20 March 2007.

These are public proceedings. While the committee may agree to a request to have evidence heard in camera or may determine that certain evidence should be heard in camera, I remind all witnesses that in giving evidence to the committee they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee, and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee. If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground upon which the objection is taken, and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer, having regard to the ground which is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may of course also be made at any other time. Before I call our first witnesses, I remind witnesses and committee members that this is a narrow bill and I ask them to make their questions and answers relevant.

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