It’s going to get bumpy!
Every now and then I fly with Rex to Sydney from Moruya.
This month’s inflight airline magazine informs us that: “The Regional Aviation Association of Australia organised a Regional Aviation Summit recently, which was attended by Senators, members of the House of Representatives, and industry stakeholders ... the summit saw a wide range of issues brought up ... it has been unfortunate that the Federal Govern-ment has not been at all supportive of regional aviation.
“Exacerbating the situation are the draconian measures that have been undertaken to further erode the viability of regional aviation. Rex will be greatly affected by these measures and from July 1 Rex’s costs will increase by $6 million per annum, equivalent to $400 million at the scale of Qantas ... therefore the regional communities with thinner routes may be facing the axe or schedule reductions. It will indeed be a dark period ahead for regional aviation”.
This is appalling as it will further erode the South Coast’s social and economic prosperity and viability.
On top of monopolistic charges and taxes forced on regional airlines and passengers, the carbon tax is to be applied on July 1, which will jack up prices further for all concerned.
Is forcing people back onto substandard, underfunded, dangerous roads the answer?
I hope our Federal Member, Mike Kelly, and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese have clever, soothing words to calm us when they tell us, no doubt, that losing the service is in our best long-term interest environmentally!
Equally, I hope Eurobodalla Shire Council, with tourism the backbone of its business plan, have a Plan B, when the only air service we have is gone, making this area that little bit more isolated and out of the way.
Make no mistake, the Federal Government is more interested in its own survival than to care about petty matters like regional aviation. Coupled with our own council’s hindering, obtuse and arrogant reputation, outside investment will keep running away. Why would it not?
Hold on for the ride, it’s going to get bumpy.
Peter Schwarz, Bergalia