Please feel free to contact Andrew:
Hobart office 188 Collins St Hobart 7000
Telephone (03) 6234 5255
This morning I met with Qantas management in Canberra to discuss the airline’s prospects, and in particular the future of its staff in Hobart. The meeting was in addition to correspondence between the airline and myself in recent weeks.
I impressed upon Qantas the importance of maintaining its Glenorchy call centre because of the dramatic impact its closure would have on staff and the local community. I also explained that it would in fact be in the airline’s best interests to expand the Glenorchy call centre if a centre was closed elsewhere in Australia because of Tasmania’s low rents and available workforce.
The fate of the 35 staff at Hobart Airport was also discussed. It would seem the battle to save these jobs is lost, but I will continue to pressure Qantas to reconsider the matter and to at least ensure redundancies and redeployment are handled as fairly as possible.
Qantas clearly is dealing with deep structural problems and analysts’ forecasts of even bigger losses on the horizon would seem to be correct. I again call on the Federal Government to provide a debt guarantee and buy a financial stake in the airline to help Qantas handle its current and likely future problems. Lifting foreign ownership is not the solution and in any case the required legislation would not pass this or the next Senate.