Prime Minister Tony Abbott said The Government would aim to introduce legislation by the end of the week that would remove Qantas’ foreign ownership restriction, and allow the airline to move its maintenance operations offshore.
Currently only 49% of the airline can be owned by overseas investors, and most of its maintenance work needs to be carried out in Australia.
The measure would help Qantas. But it is not expected to clear the Senate, with both Labor and The Greens voicing their opposition to increased foreign ownership of the national carrier.
Abbott said he was not planning to offer a debt guarantee, after the issue was debated for three hours last night. There had been speculation some sections of The Government wished to extend this measure.
“The best way to maximise Australian jobs is to maximise Qantas’s ability to compete,” Abbott said according to The ABC after being asked whether jobs would be off-shored as a result.
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