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Labor's massive flip-flop on money for Ansett.

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Newsroom - John Anderson - The National Party of Australia Monday, October 22, 2001 Back

John Anderson Leader of the National Party - Deputy Prime Minister - Minister for Transport and Regional Services - Federal Member for Gwydir


After a month of Labor saying that the Government should provide a $150-$200 million loan or equity injection for Ansett, Simon Crean has today backed away totally from this position, saying repeatedly that only the $150 million provided by Air NZ should be used to keep Ansett flying.


"The Government is selling Sydney Airport. To have Ansett as a going concern when Sydney Airport is sold will add at least $300 to $400 million to the value of Sydney Airport. Why not spend half of that in the sort of capital injection which will get Ansett up and flying again.) (Beazley, 1 October 2001)

"Well let's go the $200 million for Ansett. You know exactly how that would be paid for. That would be paid from the additional value that you would unquestionably get in the Sydney Airport sale when it occurs." (Beazley, 26 September 2001)

"A small modest investment by the Government of $150 million to $200 million, either in equity or in loans, easily recoverable from the sale of Sydney Airport, would be just the thing to nudge the outcome in the directions.: (Beazley, 16 Septembers, 2001)

"Labor calls on the Howard Government to back any viable new plan for Ansett with tangible financial support of up to $150-$200 million." (Labor pamphlet released by Arch Bevis, 8 October 2001)


Crean on Neil Mitchell, 3AW on 10 October 2001

Mitchell: How much money is your government prepared to put into the airline?

Crean: We are saying two things. $150 million not be touched and secondly the government should be prepared to put up front in advance the employee entitlement amount……..So what we are saying is put the employee entitlement money up front so that the administrators can use that and that they can use the $150 million from Air NZ and maximise the potential to get Ansett in the air as quickly as possible.

Mitchell: Kim Beazley has promised that Ansett will keep flying. How can he do that without putting in a pile, potentially a pile of government money?

Crean: He has promised to commit every effort to ensuring Ansett does fly again. And we don't have to put additional money in now Neil. All we have to do is free up the $150 million and not claw it back and all we have to do is be prepared to say to the administrators the employee entitlement money is there.