With final bids for Virgin Australia due this Monday, the Morrison Government has begun the search for someone to blame for any cuts to regional routes and Australian jobs.
In April the Treasurer declared that “we want a market-led solution”, but now that the Government is realising that the market might not deliver the best outcome for regional Australia they are trying to shift blame onto the administrators and bidders for the airline.
The reality is that as soon as the Morrison Government took the decision in April to deny support to Virgin Australia, the future shape of the airline was up in the air.
Australia’s economy is reliant on having two major airlines. Not only do our airlines support hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs, but the competition they provide ensures affordable services regularly reach all Australians.
The impact of even just a reduction in services to regional centres would damage regional economies in places like Launceston, Cairns, Broome and many regions in between.
The Government repeatedly voiced their support for a market-led solution, and now their cavalier approach is putting the future of Australia’s second airline in jeopardy.
The Government can’t turn its back and pretend this is not their problem.
If the Government has real concerns regarding the future of the airline, they only have to look at the letter the independent administrators sent just last week to find out what they need to do. In that letter, the administrators made clear that Virgin Australia needs an extension of Government assistance, including JobKeeper, to prevent mass redundancies and business failure.
The Government made the decision to allow Virgin Australia fall into voluntary administration, and now they know what they have to do to ensure the airline survives as a competitive player in our aviation market.
The truth is that the Government doesn’t have to look far to find someone to blame.
Every job and every route lost is the direct result of Scott Morrison’s choices.
They only have themselves to blame.
FRIDAY, 19 JUNE 2020