Deb Frecklington has asked the Queensland Government to save regional Virgin Airlines jobs.
Deb Frecklington has asked the Queensland Government to save regional Virgin Airlines jobs.

Frecklington seeks guarantee on Virgin jobs

QUEENSLAND Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has called on the State Government to protect jobs in the wake of Virgin Airlines' revival.

In a letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Ms Frecklington claimed any job losses under a streamlined approach from new owners Bain Capital would be a "broken promise" by the Government.

The State Government fended off approaches from interstate to keep Virgin headquartered in Queensland after the company went into voluntary administration last month. Treasurer Cameron Dick claimed Bain Capital's success was a win for Queensland.

"Keeping Queensland jobs in Queensland as we deal with the economic fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic is very important," the Treasurer said. "We're managing the health response and now we can start delivering Queensland's plan for economic recovery. Importantly, Queenslanders will now also own a strategic equity stake in the airline.

"We are thrilled that our investment, a mix of equity and economic incentives, has helped to secure that into the future."

But after rival airline Qantas announced last week it would axe 6000 jobs in an effort to survive the coronavirus pandemic, there have been renewed fears for Virgin Australia staff.

Bain Capital's local managing director Mike Murphy said the firm's flight path for Virgin Australia would see a "return to its core strengths both strategically and operationally and re-establish itself as an iconic Australian airline".

"Our investment and plan for the airline will support and celebrate Virgin Australia's unique culture and protect as many jobs as possible for the short and medium term in a way that will make significant jobs growth possible," he said.

Ms Frecklington said her team welcomed the news that the future of Virgin Australia had been secured, but suggested the cause for concern was not over.

Referencing media reports that job cuts were expected for the nation's second carrier, the Opposition Leader asked the Premier to guarantee all Queensland-based workers and contractors for the airline would keep their jobs.

"News that 3000 to 4000 Virgin workers are expected to lose their job flies in the face of every commitment the Palaszczuk Labor Government has made regarding its $200 million ownership bid," Ms Frecklington wrote.

"Given your ownership of the new airline, I am asking that you guarantee that all Queensland-based workers and contractors for Virgin Airlines will keep their jobs and that every existing regional air route is maintained."

Originally published as Frecklington seeks guarantee on Virgin jobs


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