LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has issued a ‘call to arms’ for Far Northerners to protest against key Qantas and Qantaslink representatives in Cairns becoming victims of the airline’s restructuring, describing it as “a devastating loss and a retrograde step”.
At the same time as Qantas is shutting its Cairns cabin-crew base affecting 110 employees, it is understood that the company is now also in the process of offering redundancies to management and shifting activities to corporate offices down south.
“Business is about relationships and our Qantas and Qantaslink representatives together have more than 30 years’ experience in our region they are the face of the business,” Mr Entsch said. “Their contribution has been profound and I don’t think our community could have benefited more.
“Just a couple of examples I’ve been involved with the restoration of the Parish Hall on Thursday Island. Qantaslink not only provided return flights from Horn Island to Cairns as a fundraiser, but they donated the funds for the new entrance stairs, which was fantastic.
“I also know that over the last seven years Qantaslink has been a massive support to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre sending equipment to the Cape after a mass stranding, providing CTRC founder Jennie Gilbert with flights to get to remote parts of the Cape and taking up to 15 turtles to the rehabilitation centre and returning them.
“There are many, many more examples out there, all of which were achieved as a result of having access to local representatives in Cairns. That’s not going to happen with a phone call to Brisbane or Sydney; we may as well be contacting a Mumbai call centre.”
Mr Entsch is encouraging any organisation or community group that has benefited through Qantas’ and Qantaslink’s philanthropy to write to company CEO Alan Joyce and plead with him not to continue down this course.
“At the end of the day, the only way to fix Qantas issues is to fix the management team,” Mr Entsch commented. “Joyce has taken a perfectly healthy, quality full-service airline and trashed the brand and trashed the service.
“Now he is hell-bent on gutting Cairns and centralising all services back into southern cities and he needs to be condemned for it.
“If the Qantas board want to take the first step at dealing with challenges then they need to replace the CEO and get someone who has an understanding of ‘full-service’ and ‘community obligations’, as he clearly has neither.”
Mr Joyce can be contacted at the following:
Mr Alan Joyce
CEO Qantas Airways
10 Bourke Road
Mascot NSW 2020
By Phone: (02) 9691 3636
Via Web: submit feedback through the online form at http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/customer-care-feedback-form/global/en