Senate debates

Monday, 11 September 2023

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Answers To Questions

3:29 pm

Photo of James McGrathJames McGrath (Queensland, Liberal National Party, Shadow Assistant Minister to the Leader of the Opposition) Share this | Hansard source

It might be up to nine, Senator Colbeck. There may have been nine excuses as to why this Labor government refused the application by Qatar Airways.

By the way, the point of the application by Qatar Airways to have additional flights to Australia is to ensure that there are cheaper flights. This is a cost-of-living issue. This is all about ensuring that the consumers in Australia can have a choice when it comes to who they fly with, and having greater choice means that the market works and that flights actually go down in price. Otherwise, it looks like the Labor government is running a protection racket for Qantas Airways, and it would be disappointing if a political party were running a protection racket for one particular airline.

We've heard everything from human rights concerns to protecting Australian jobs to decarbonisation to the application not being in the national interest to Qantas having bought new airliners to the idea that our aviation industry could be destroyed if Qantas weren't profitable to the statement that Qatar Airways have unused access right now—all sorts of different reasons. Minister King had an absolute car crash of a press conference last week. She was all over the shop when it came to not being able to answer questions, and that trend continued in question time today—that the Labor ministers are unable to answer basic questions. Quite frankly, they are taking the mickey.


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