The secretary of the WA Transport Workers Union (TWU) has expressed disappointment that the federal government ignored invitations to attend an online crisis roundtable for the aviation industry on Friday.
The roundtable was attended by industry, trade unions and experts, including Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah, Dnata Australia CEO Hiranjan Aloysius, and ALP President Wayne Swan.
All trade unions covering airport workers attended including Australian Services Union, Australian Workers Union, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, ALEA, Australian and international Pilot’s Association, Flight Attendants Association of Australia, Australian Federation of Air Pilots, United Workers Union, the Association for Virgin Australia Group Pilots and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.
TWU Secretary Tim Dawson, said that if government representatives had attended, they would have communicated that Virgin Australia could not be allowed to fail.
“It’s really imperative that there are two airlines in the Australian economy.”
“We’ve seen the history of when we’ve lost airlines thought when we lost the Ansett. The price of travelling, the price of freight for deliveries continues to rise and rise.”
“It wasn’t until we had a competitive low cost airline came back that we have seen prices drop to what is a reasonable price for passengers.”
Dawson said that as online shopping becomes a more and more integral part of the economy, the importance of freight increases.
“The aviation industry is a valuable part of the Australian economy, and that it will in dollars cost more.”
“If we have a collapse of one of the main airlines, Virgin or Qantas, and without both airlines lines then the economy will suffer. Their tax revenue will suffer, considering the amount of tax revenue that they received from airlines, and especially from companies like virgin.
“So I think it’s short sighted on their behalf, not to actually have not been there today.”