Monday, 11 September 2023
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. On 14 August this year the Prime Minister attended a VIP 'yes' campaign event with former Qantas CEO Mr Alan Joyce. Was Qantas support for the 'yes' campaign one of the factors that led to the government's decision to block the application for additional flights to and from Australia—
The Manager of Opposition Business will pause and resume his seat for a moment. Attorney-General, question time will not operate with you interjecting on the question. You are warned. I don't know how much more serious I can make this. Questioners will not be interjected upon, no matter what the question is. I give the call to the Manager of Opposition Business, and he will be heard in silence, or you won't be here to hear it.
My question is to the Prime Minister. On 14 August this year the Prime Minister attended a VIP 'yes' campaign event with former Qantas CEO Mr Alan Joyce. Was Qantas support for the 'yes' campaign one of the factors that led to the government's decision to block the application for additional flights to and from Australia by Qatar?
I thank the member for his question. I was talking to some of the journos this morning. I note Clare Armstrong has made the effort to come here. She is the only one. Good on you, Clare. We were talking about question time today. But this is not something I anticipated. It might be news to the member for Bradfield that every major business in Australia is supporting the 'yes' campaign. Woolworths, Coles, Telstra, BHP, Rio Tinto, the Business Council of Australia, the Catholic Church, the Imams Council, the Australian Football League, the National Rugby League, Rugby Australia and Netball Australia are all supporting the 'yes' campaign in this referendum. I'll tell you who the VIPs were that day; they were the Indigenous workers, who I was proud to meet. Going back more than a decade—because the point is here that this referendum has been a long time coming; planes were painted with the 'R' for 'recognise' more than a decade ago, just as planes were painted, like the Wunala Dreaming, to pay respect to Indigenous Australians a long time ago.
Companies are doing this because they understand. They've introduced reconciliation action plans. They have done so much. So many companies are doing good things, employing Indigenous Australians—particularly in regional Australia, it must be said. And that's a good thing. So it should be no surprise whatsoever that, along with a range of other businesses, they are all supporting the 'yes' campaign. Indeed, the Business Council of Australia—Tim Reed, the president, was talking to me at the BCA dinner just a couple of weeks ago about the enormous support, and how there is such support across the business community for 'yes' because they also know it's important for their businesses. (Time expired)