May 29, 2012

Question Without Notice – Domestic Aviation

Mr FITZGIBBON (Hunter—Chief Government Whip) (14:27):  My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Minister, what will be the impact of the carbon price on domestic aviation?

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Leader of the House and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport) (14:27):  I thank the member for his question. Indeed, today thanks to the reforms of the Hawke and Keating government, flying is five times more affordable than it was 20 years ago. There will be an impact of a carbon price on domestic aviation. It will be one-third of the impact of the GST. If you look at flights, for example, that Virgin have announced, the flight from Sydney to Melbourne, or Sydney to Brisbane, or Melbourne to Adelaide, will increase by $1.50.

We have had a scare campaign again today in question time from those opposite. It is appropriate to look at the facts of how aviation including regional aviation is going. Regional Express put out a release for their 2011 full-year results and this is what they had to say:

“I am actually more optimistic and confident of the outlook and potential of the Rex Group than I have ever been for the past nine years.”

That is what Mr Lim had to say. And on 22nd May they released this statement that from 9 July 2012, nine days after the carbon price starts:

“Mildura will once again have direct flights to Adelaide and Sydney in addition to two daily return flights to Broken Hill.

In addition, Broken Hill will, for the first time, receive air services to Melbourne via Mildura.

Then we get to Brindabella. It gets better. This is what they said in the release that was selectively quoted opposite. It was headlined:

“Aeropelican and Brindabella airlines increase charter capacity.”

And it says:

“Following a significant rise in charter enquiries resulting from growth in the resources sector Aeropelican and Brindabella Airlines will increase the availability of their aircraft in New South Wales and Queensland to take advantage of ad-hoc and contract FIFO opportunities.”

They are going to make more money out of the growth in the resources boom, which is why they are cutting back so that they can be aircraft for more profitable routes. That is what they themselves say in the release.

Mrs Mirabella interjecting—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, the member for Indi!

Mr ALBANESE:  That is what they themselves say in the release. Then we get to the shadow Treasurer’s email—and he ripped off half of it! It starts, ‘Dear Steve’—to a Tory staffer—’In line with our discussion this morning, I can confirm that whilst not the primary reason for cancelling the above notice’—

You are a joke. This scare campaign will be exposed for what it is after 1 July. (Time expired)