Shadow Transport Minister Catherine King welcomed the Federal Government‘s regional aviation support package but called on the Government and industry to ensure workers are supported through this crisis.
The package will assist regional airlines on a case-by-case basis that are facing urgent cash flow issues resulting from suppressed demand and increased travel restrictions from the Coronavirus outbreak.
It will also support continuity of service for 138 regional communities that rely on aviation for critical medical supplies, specialist visits and critical freight.
Last week, Labor welcomed the Government’s first aviation package but noted it was not going to be enough.
The first package also did not include any guarantees airlines would retain and support workers through this crisis.
Tens of thousands of workers across our aviation industry have been stood down in the last week, and many have no guarantee a job is waiting for them when the crisis is over.
It is essential that we keep as many Australians connected to the labour market and to their employer as possible.
In working with regional airlines on individual support measures, the Government must include wage subsidies that ensure workers remain connected to their employer.
If the Government fails to ensure workers are supported to remain connected to business through this crisis, it will take airlines and our aviation industry longer to scale up once the outbreak passes.
Labor will review the regional aviation package and continue to play a constructive, responsible and supportive role through this outbreak, including injecting a sense of urgency where it is absent.