Hon Scott Morrison MP
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
7 April 2020
Dear Mr Morrison
Australia’s aviation market and the future of the tourism industry
Firstly, I want to acknowledge the decisive steps your government has taken over recent weeks to support Australia’s economy and its community, including the tourism and hospitality industry, in the face of overwhelming odds. Thank you.
More will be demanded from all of us to prepare for the recovery. With this in mind, I am compelled to raise with you a critical issue that is of grave concern to every tourism business in this country, including Queensland. The aviation industry is in the frontline of the economic slowdown, with few airlines globally likely to survive without substantial government support. I am aware that you have already put some measures in place for our airlines.
However, we are still faced with the very real threat that at least one of Australia’s main domestic carriers will not be able to survive this current crisis without a significant government injection of funds. If Virgin Australia was to cease operating a viable domestic network, the aviation market would lose its competitive dynamic to the inevitable detriment to consumers and the entire economy. A single dominant domestic carrier in Australia would cause irreparable damage to the viability of our regional tourism economy and the communities that depend on it. I am sure, Prime Minister, with your tourism background you need no reminding of the central role of airlines to our destinations.
As critical as in the retail, communication and energy sectors, competitive pressures in domestic aviation ensure that the benefits of a market-driven economy are delivered efficiently. In a geographically large country like Australia, domestic aviation is essential infrastructure. We simply cannot risk it. The tourism industry strongly supports both Qantas and Virgin Australia. I implore you with the utmost urgency to take all steps necessary to protect what is a vital part of Australia’s economy: a viable and competitive aviation market. Our future depends on it.
I can assure you that tourism operators all over Queensland are alarmed at the prospect of losing our aviation market and are eagerly awaiting some reassurance in that regard, when so much else is at risk.
CC Hon. Simon Birmingham. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.
Hon. Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation, Tourism Development and Cross River Rail.