Once again the Prime Minister is playing funny buggers with Australian travellers over financing a security upgrade at our airports. Here’s a report on the Wheeler Report on airport security that’s due to be released later today.

The PM seems to be softening us up for another stingy approach, putting the cost at “almost $200 million” but not being able to say how it will be paid for because he doesn’t “control what the airlines do.” Of course he does. All he has to do is talk to them about paying for the upgrades.

In the present climate, with oil levies on domestic and international tickets, travellers will be hit with a security levy as sure as John Howard gets up in the morning. And this will be on top of the levies on milk and sugar to finance change in both industries, not to mention the infamous Ansett levy rip-off. Then there’s the petrol excise increase that the prime minister dropped like a Mark Latham promise when it became quickly apparent voters didn’t much like having to pay for upgrades that would benefit oil companies already making super profits from soaring oil prices.

But travellers seem to be exempt as cash cows. Perhaps Mr Howard’s government could finance the security upgrade from the near $6 billion it received for Sydney Airport from the Millionaire’s factory at Macquarie Bank.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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