Labor transport spokesman Anthony Albanese has proposed an amendment to the Qantas Sale Act which would remove restrictions on individual entities owning more than 25 per cent and foreign-owned airlines owning more than 35 per cent of the airline.
Speaking in Canberra on June 29, Albanese said the move would give the airline more flexibility in its structure, but added Labor would not budge from the provision that guarantees the airline remain 51 per cent Australian-owned.
“You don’t protect the national carrier by abandoning it. And that’s what removing all foreign restrictions on Qantas would do,” he told media. “So it’s up to the government now.”
But a coalition spokesman told the Australian Financial Review that Labor’s shift added nothing new. “It’s the same talk we’ve heard for several months,” he said. “To date, the government is yet to see any formal amendments from Labor.”
A Qantas spokesman said the changes proposed by Albanese would be an improvement. “While removing all ownership restrictions that apply only to Qantas remains our preference for levelling the playing field, changing the 25 and 35 per cent limits would represent an improvement on the status quo.”