Skip navigation

Bring Qantas back into public ownership

I've called on the government to consider bringing Qantas back into public hands because under private management, customers were not being served but executives were giving themselves million-dollar pay cheques.

Qantas was privatised by the Keating Labor government in the 90s, and it’s clear that Australians are now suffering the consequences of that decision.

During the pandemic, Qantas received $2.7 billion of taxpayer money with no strings attached. They then sacked thousands of workers, including 1,700 ground crew who the High Court found had been sacked in breach of workplace laws. Even after that ruling, current Qantas board Chairman Richard Goyder insists it was a sound commercial decision.

Former CEO Alan Joyce’s final paycheck was a staggering $21.4 million, more than 300 times what average Qantas cabin crew or ground staff earn.

Meanwhile, customers are being ripped off with high prices and flights frequently being cancelled. The ACCC is even suing Qantas, alleging they breached consumer law by selling tickets on flights that had been cancelled.

It’s clear that a rethink is needed on Qantas. Merely a change of CEO or board members will not alter the fundamental problems with Qantas and its corporatised structure. The government should strongly consider bringing it back into public hands.