Qantas board sucking the spirit out of Australia, return carrier to government

Sep 8, 2023

AS the “national carrier” enters a new era of administration, Katter’s Australian Party MP Bob Katter is turning the blowtorch on to the remaining board which oversaw a period of operation, completely void of Australian values, while calling for the airline to be returned to nation.

“I have been able to do very serious harm to people that have betrayed Australia and its people. I regret that the administration that is just finishing was not seriously assailed by myself,” he said.

Mr Katter said the airline which was once financially rescued by a group of people including his grandfather, and formerly government owned, was a beacon of the essential services Australia once provided, including “reasonably priced airfares.”

“Qantas was taken over by the government – it was a service to the Australian people, it was not a money-making machine for the rich corporates,” Mr Katter said.

“But under Joyce, this company shredded the mantle of safety, and I don’t blame him, whether he was just nothing more than a self-seeking, money-grabbing big noter, or whether he was a pawn in the hands of the board, simply taking directions – that’s for others to decide.

“Generous government subsidies were gobbled up by a greedy corporation, airfares in regional areas skyrocketed to unconscionable levels, baggage handlers were sleeping on concrete with a blanket over them, mid winter and there were numerous allegations of offshoring thousands of jobs, allegations that have never been answered.”

Perusing the backgrounds of the board of directors, Mr Katter noted a number of them had foreign ties or interests.

“Is it any wonder we had a foreigner put, and then kept in charge of our ‘national carrier,’ they clearly don’t think Australians are good enough.

“They’re a bunch that would not have a scintilla of identification of an ordinary, knock about Australian.

“The blatant abuse of power to promote the philosophical viewpoints of people at the top, with a blatant disregard for the culture and traditions of Australians, whether it was his fault or not, under his administration, every single one of the principles that drove those people that created Qantas was betrayed and spat upon.

“The board can’t be faulted for putting him there, but they kept him there. People that control these corporations have to be publicly named and it’s about time the spotlight enables the Australian people to see these people who have contempt for every characteristic that is uniquely Australian.”

Responding to the government’s Aviation Green Paper released this week, Mr Katter dismissed the suggestion foreign competition would alleviate customer complaints, and rather suggested Qantas be returned to government ownership.

“Qantas’ profits should be going back to the Australian people, not to an entitled mob worried about their own pockets.

“They took our concept of reasonable airfares to shrink the tyranny of distance and turned it into a money-making machine.

“In a country like Australia, Qantas is a service that should be owned by the government; in the most sparsely populated country on Earth – where the wealth of the country comes from the sparsely populated areas, if you continue to strangle them, then you strangle the nation.”

Qantas board members:  

Richard Goyder AO 

BCom, FAICD | Independent, Non-Executive Director and Chairman

Age: 63

Maxine Brenner 

BA, LLB | Independent Non-Executive Director

Age: 61

Jacqueline Hey 

BCom, Grad Cert (Mgmt), GAICD | Independent Non-Executive Director

Age: 57

Belinda Hutchinson AC 

BEc, FCA, FAICD | Independent Non-Executive Director

Age: 70

Michael L’Estrange AO 

BA (Syd), MA (Oxon) | Independent Non-Executive Director

Age: 70

Doug Parker 

BEc, MBA  | Independent, Non-Executive Director

Age: 61

Todd Sampson 

MBA, BA (Hons) | Independent, Non-Executive Director

Age: 53

Dr Heather Smith PSM FAIIA 

BEc (Hons), PhD  | Independent, Non-Executive Director

Age: 58

Antony Tyler 

BA (Jurisprudence) | Independent Non-Executive Director

Age: 68