Adam Marshall: I stand with the community and MPSC to maintain the regulated route and will make every effort to ensure this occurs
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has issued a statement concerning the controversial proposed deregulation of the Moree-Sydney air route.
Currently, the route is locked in with QantasLink however Transport for NSW has put forward a proposal to deregulate what is believed to be a safe and trusted service by the Moree community.
Mr Marshall hopes to this week meet with Moree Plains Shire Council to discuss the issue, which has angered the community.
Mr Marshall said on Sunday that he will not support any move which threatens the continuation of regular air passenger services between Moree and Sydney.
“Moree’s air link with Sydney is crucial for business, health services, tourism and government services and it cannot be jeopardised,” Mr Marshall said.
“I have had a number of discussions with the current carrier (QantasLink), Moree Mayor Katrina Humphries and community members over the past few days. I welcome and am proud of the local community’s passion and determination to preserve this crucial transport link for the district and to maintain the regulated route.
“It is typical of Moree’s spirit,” Mr Marshall said.
“QantasLink signed a contract through to the end of 2018 to service the Moree community, on the basis of exclusivity with a regulated route. In my view, that contract must be respected and honoured.
“While we should have an open and informed conversation about whether a regulated or deregulated option is best for Moree and the continuation of an air service in the long term, no decision should be made, especially now, that negatively impacts the community.
“Any discussion and decision-making process has to recognise the unique nature of the Moree to Sydney,” he said.
“I’m not opposed to the principle of deregulation and I acknowledge that it may work in some places, but I feel strongly that it is not in the best interests of the Moree community at this time.
“Exclusivity, via regulation, is currently vital for the Moree to Sydney route and the ability of the community to attract and retain a carrier. This may change in the future, but it is certainly the case at the moment.
“That’s why I stand with the community and Moree Plains Shire Council to maintain the regulated route and will make every effort to ensure this occurs.
“I will keep the community updated with progress, following the conclusion of the public consultation period,” Mr Marshall said.
An online survey conducted by Moree Plains Shire Council garnered overwhelming support to maintain a regulated air service.
The survey, which closed at 5pm on Friday, drew 482 respondents.
Of those, 405 respondents (84.02 percent) voted for regulation with 77 respondents (15.98 percent) opting for deregulation.
Moree Plains Shire Mayor Katrina Humphries says it is time for NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance to sit up and listen to the people.
“The State Government asked Council to engage with our community on this issue. And now, when they don’t like the answer, apparently we don’t know what’s good for us,” Cr Humphries said.
The story so far:
Don’t mess with Katrina Humphries: transport minister sent from the fat to the fire over deregulation debate
Katrina fires up!
Click this link to listen to ABC Radio’s interviews with Andrew Constance and Katrina Humphries
Adam Marshall: “I won’t support any move which threatens the continuation of regular air passenger services at Moree”
Mayor Humphries says Moree could “end up with no airline at all” if deregulation comes into play