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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Speech FEDERATION CHAMBER Constituency Statements – Qantas Wednesday, 19 March 2014 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (09:42): My constituents are concerned about the sale of Qantas. The ‘Flying Kangaroo’ represents Australia around the world. Some people in other countries may not know where Australia is but they know our country by the flying kangaroo. Queensland Northern Territory Aerial Services is part of Australia just like Holden cars and meat pies—I should say meat pies, because Holden are going. What would anyone do—what would you do—if you had a chief executive that lost consistently over a billion dollars every year in the value of your business? I would not keep him even for six months, let alone for five or six years. The first of the 5,000 people to lose their jobs at Qantas should be the chief executive, the chairman and then the board. The Qantas CEO does not have any performance—just failure, failure. And why is this so? The focus on the airline needs to be on making a profit. By having ridiculous fares that are non-sustainable—$69 from Brisbane to Sydney, $499 return to Tokyo—he only runs down the capitalisation of the airline. I remember when it was approaching $10 million; today it is just over $2 billion. The CEO and the board of Qantas have destroyed Qantas’s value and, when they took it over, Air New Zealand had been unable to grow because of the fiasco with Ansett. Today Air New Zealand is making a good profit while Qantas has continued to decline. Maybe Qantas should recruit the next CEO from Bondi or Auckland. Australia must keep its national airline. Australian super funds would be more than happy to support Qantas’s financial needs but first it needs new management, a sustainable business plan and a profit. I am sure all the senators from my party and the Motorists will vote against any changes to the Qantas Sale Act in the Senate. Such a proposal strikes against the very interests of the Australian people. If a foreign airline were to control competition, airfares to and from Australia would be the most expensive in the Western world. Governments all over the world ensure their national carrier is owned by companies domiciled in their own countries. So should the Australian parliament. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 77 Clive Palmer at ABC radio in Perth


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