Qantas has clearly taken the hint from the government's hard line on automotive assistance and SPC Ardmona. It's flagged (yet another) major round of job cuts while its executives and lobbyists stalk the corridors of Canberra hoping to convince the government to lend a hand to the ailing airline.

The Qantas Sale Act, a relic of the Paul Keating era when the process of privatising the airline was commenced, must be changed to allow greater foreign investment in Qantas, which is currently restricted in the means by which it can raise capital. That the result might be that Qantas ends up foreign owned is not relevant: the Foreign Investment Review Board provides a process by which that can be assessed as to whether it is in the national interest. At the moment, the Qantas Sale Act in effect prejudges the issue, assuming anything beyond the current foreign investment and shareholding limits is not in the national interest.