Senate debates

Monday, 23 March 2020

Questions without Notice

Coronavirus

2:28 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | Hansard source

It's not our intention to take an equity stake. In relation to Qantas, it's a business which employed 30,000 Australians as we went into this crisis. You're quite right: they have had to make the difficult decision to stand down 20,000 employees in a context where, essentially, their international business and most of their domestic business has collapsed. We want Qantas to be a strong and viable airline, employing 30,000 Australians, on the other side of this crisis. If we forced Qantas to keep 20,000 additional people employed who did not have any work to do, that would cost a lot of money. At the end of it, we would not be certain that Qantas would still be a viable business that would be able to employ 30,000 Australians. We did provide fee relief to a number of airlines in this industry as part of helping to ensure that those businesses could stay in business. (Time expired)

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