Queensland needs LNP MPs to step up

17 April 2020

Federal Labor’s Team Queensland is calling on our LNP counterparts to pick up the phone to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and save Virgin Airlines.

Labor welcomes the Government’s announcement that it will cover an initial eight weeks of flights on a number of critical metropolitan and regional routes.

It is particularly important to ensuring Australians can get home safely after completing quarantine, and to support ongoing essential travel and freight while Covid-19 travel restrictions are in place.

But it will take a lot more than this to safeguard jobs and affordable airfares.

The Prime Minister must urgently extend a lifeline to Virgin Australia, which directly supports almost 5,000 employees and contractors across Queensland.

Twenty nine of Queensland’s Federal MPs and Senators are members of the Morrison Government. It’s time they stepped up for our state, our workers and our industries.

It’s not only the direct jobs created by Virgin - the state’s tourism industry depends on the competition and increased flights Virgin provides and the tourism jobs it sustains.

Our regional economies and our quality of life depend on a strong domestic aviation industry. Queensland needs healthy competition to keep airfares affordable and connect Brisbane and our regional centres with the rest of the country.

If Queensland’s LNP MPs and Senators do not step up and save Virgin, they are making an active decision to see one of our major airlines fail. 

Thousands of Queenslanders, from Cairns to Coolangatta, will pay the price, and it will slow our state’s recovery once the Covid-19 outbreak passes.

The Prime Minister must provide direct support to Virgin, through extending or guaranteeing lines of credit and taking an equity stake.

Such an intervention will give the Government the temporary ability to support the airline through this crisis before the industry bounces back - and it will - when the Government can recoup its investment.

Giving up on Queensland’s tourism and aviation industries is not an option for Labor.

We will continue to fight for Queensland jobs and our world famous tourism industry, during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.