Key elements in the current Qantas restructuring are to be examined in a Senate Inquiry next month into a proposed amendment to the Qantas Sale Act and the shutting down of alleged slave labor foreign flight attendant rostering on Jetstar domestic flights.

Among these and other things, the action is clearly aimed at preventing the leaking of Qantas assets into offshore activities through the use of its Jetstar low cost franchise.

The Still Call Australia Home initiatives are clearly explained on the APH web site.

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In summary it says:

Air Navigation and Civil Aviation Amendment (Aircraft Crew) Bill 2011; Qantas Sale Amendment (Still Call Australia Home) Bill 2011

Information about the Inquiry

On 18 August 2011 the Senate referred the Air Navigation and Civil Aviation Amendment (Aircraft Crew) Bill 2011 for inquiry and report.

On 14 September 2011, the Senate referred the Qantas Sale Amendment (Still Call Australia Home) Bill 2011 for inquiry and report. The Committee will inquire into the bills concurrently.

The Air Navigation and Civil Aviation Amendment (Aircraft Crew) Bill 2011 will require that Australian airlines and their subsidiaries provide pay and conditions for overseas-based flight and cabin crew operating on their flights that are no less favourable than if they were directly employed by the Australian airline.

Schedule 1 of the bill amends the Air Navigation Act 1920 to place a new condition on the international aviation licences held by Australian airlines or the subsidiaries or associated entities of Australian airlines. Schedule 2 of the bill amends the Civil Aviation Act 1988 to place a new condition on all new and existing Air Operator’s Certificates (AOCs).

With respect to this bill the inquiry will consider issues of safety (including fatigue), pay and working conditions and the effect on Australian jobs due to the use of overseas-based crew by Australian airlines and their subsidiaries.

The Qantas Sale Amendment (Still Call Australia Home) Bill 2011 seeks to amend the Qantas Sale Act 1992. The bill inserts a definition for “associated entity” into the Act, in line with section 50AAA of the Corporations Act 2001. The bill requires that:
• Qantas ensure that, of its facilities broadly, its principal operational centre is located in Australia;
• Qantas, as a parent company, ensure that its subsidiaries and associated entities – such as Jetstar – have its principal operational centre located in Australia;
• the majority of heavy maintenance of aircraft and the majority of flight operations and training conducted by Qantas or by its subsidiaries and any associated entities is conducted in Australia; and
• at least one of the Directors of Qantas has a minimum of 5 years’ professional flight operations experience and that at least one of the Directors has a minimum of 5 years’ aircraft engineering experience.

Currently the Qantas Sale Act only allows an application to the Court for injunctions by the Minister. The bill extends this to allow for applications to the Court by 100 shareholder members or shareholder members who hold at least 5 percent of the shares in Qantas.

In summary we can reasonably say this is all about holding Qantas to its word that its Australian icon branding isn’t based on lies or evasions.

It is understood that submissions did not close as indicated on 14 October and are still being received, and that hearings are intended to be conducted next month with a view to reporting before its end.


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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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