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Call for judicial inquiry into Qantas – letter to Treasurer

February 28, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59How could Jetstar go from a AUD 128 million profit to a AUD 16 million loss in just six months? A lot of people want to know, not least the campaigning independent Senator from South Australia, Nick Xenophon, who is calling for a judicial inquiry into the financial management of Qantas.

Xenophon’s call follows Qantas’ announcement yesterday of the loss of 5000 jobs (about one in six jobs at the airline), and a massive AUD 252 million half-yearly loss.

“Alan Joyce and the Qantas Board have brought one of the world’s great airlines and a national icon to its knees,” Xenophon said.

“Their botched strategy of pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Jetstar’s Asian operations seems to be the real cause of the demise, and Australians shouldn’t believe Mr Joyce’s lame excuses.”

Senator Xenophon said a judicial inquiry, with sufficient forensic account resources, would reveal once and for all the cause of Qantas’ woes and help determine whether changes to the Qantas Sale Act and a government bail out was needed.

Senator Xenophon also questioned whether current Australian accounting and corporate governance rules needed to be changed.

“Right now, the consolidated accounts of Qantas Group, with over 129 entities trading under it, don’t need to pinpoint how well or how badly each division is doing,” Xenophon said.

“Since Qantas is asking for taxpayer help, and a change in the Qantas Sale Act, the public deserves to know how the various parts of the Group are performing.”

Senator Xenophon queried how Jetstar International, “the apple of Mr Joyce’s blinkered eye”, could go from a AUD 128 million profit to a AUD 16 million loss in just six months.

“For years, Alan Joyce has been bragging about how great Jetstar is, when it may be that Jetstar, not the Qantas Sale Act, has been the albatross around Qantas’ neck all along,” Nick said.

Last week, Senator Xenophon wrote to Treasurer Joe Hockey on the subject, outlining his concerns about Qantas.

Those interested in reading the letter can download it here.   HOCKEY Joe 17 feb 2014

Written by : Peter Needham

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