FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch is confident proposed law changes that would restrict the use of foreign-based cabin crews will be rejected.
Major carriers Jetstar and Qantas have already warned the draft legislation would increase their operating costs and reduce their ability to compete with other airlines, forcing them to withdraw connecting services from Europe and Asia into Cairns and Darwin.
Mr Entsch met with Senator Nick Xenophon today to discuss the consequences of his proposed amendments to the Air Navigation and Civil Aviation Bill on the Far North’s economy, particularly tourism.
“I understand Senator Xenophon’s argument, particularly in relation to improving conditions and managing crew fatigue, however I express serious concerns about the impacts,” he said.
“He appreciated my position and understood my argument against the amendments.
” I made it very clear to him that we can’t afford to take the risk of losing Jetstar. Jetstar has been critical to the region’s economy and losing their services is something we don’t need right now.
“It was a very productive meeting.”
Mr Entsch said he understood the proposal had received very little support in Parliament.
“Senator Xenophon had already been advised he would receive no support for the amendments from the Opposition or the Government, only the Greens,” he said.
“I expressed my concerns in the Joint Party Room this morning and it was confirmed that the Opposition would not be supporting the amendments. I’m confident the amendments would not receive support in Parliament and that the Far North will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.”