Thank you, Mr Speaker and I thank the member for Ballarat for her question and acknowledge the Qantas workers in the public gallery. I acknowledge Michael Caine, the secretary of the transport workers union. I am worried about those workers who have lost their jobs. I know what it is like to lose a job.
It’s very, very tough, and you sometimes – having asked the question, give me the respect to answer your question.
And because of the down turn in the aviation sector hit fastest and hardest. It has been a global pandemic.
Many airline companies right the world have the world have closed. We are very fortunate in this country.
Here she goes again.
At the start of the global pandemic, what we to see was two viable competitive airlines flying domestically at the end as we came out of the back of COVID-19 and I can say that thankfully that’s what we have now.
Now, Virgin came into the pandemic saddled with billions of dollars of debt.
I’m pleased through Bain capital and the assistance that has been provided that they are still flying. Next week Virgin will be flying. Rex will be flying, yes, albeit in a limited fashion but JobKeeper has helped keep these airlines flying.
JobKeeper, the domestic aviation network system scheme has helped these companies fly. The regional airline network scheme has helped those regional aviation companies fly.
And for those 35 towns that would have otherwise not had respiratory devices, face masks, even medical personnel visit them, they were able to get that assistance, thanks through the assistance that was provided. $2.7 billion on a sector wide basis.
Everything that we have done has been on a sector-wide basis and I hope those Qantas workers who don’t have a job,
I hope they are able to return to their places of employment. And Qantas group CEO Alan Joyce, said a change in conditions over the past month has many more people finally able to travel domestically again.