Jul 18, 2014

Labor strengthens Qantas

This afternoon, the Government has voted for Labor’s amendments to the Qantas Sale Act, ensuring the national carrier remains majority Australian hands and keeps jobs onshore.

Labor is pleased the Parliament has had the sense to agree to the fair and reasonable changes that we proposed.

Australians value Qantas as our national carrier and they want jobs to stay in Australia.

For months, Labor has advocated for a common sense solution which allows Qantas greater access to capital while safeguarding jobs and keeping the airline Australian.

Labor moved amendments to the Qantas Sale Act in the Senate to remove the so-called 25-35 provisions which limit foreign ownership in Qantas by an individual foreign investor to 25 per cent and by foreign-owned airlines to 35 per cent.

There is no change to the existing foreign investment limit of 49 per cent, meaning Qantas will remain majority Australian owned.

Labor’s amendments also protect other elements already contained within the existing Qantas Sale Act including

  • Retention of the majority of the airline’s jobs in Australia
  • Ensuring at least two-thirds of the Qantas board are Australians, including the chairperson;
  • Keeping the head office in Australia; and
  • Ensuring the majority of international maintenance is conducted in Australia.

At the time Labor released the amendments, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said they were ‘nothing new’ and refused to support Labor’s plan.

We are pleased the Government has now decided to support our amendments, despite insisting there was “no Plan B” for Qantas should its proposal to sell Qantas to foreign owners fail to pass the Parliament.

We are proud that because of Labor, the flying kangaroo will still call Australia home.

Qantas will be stronger and more competitive, and remain majority Australian owned.