Adam Marshall: “I won’t support any move which threatens the continuation of regular air passenger services at Moree”
UPDATED: 4.20-pm, February 25
NEW South Wales member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall hopes to meet with Moree Plains Shire Council next week to discuss the proposed deregulation of the Moree-Sydney air service.
Mr Marshall, who was recently elevated to NSW minister for Tourism and Major Events as well as assistant minister for Skills, says he will not support any move that threatens the continuation of regular air passenger services between Moree and Sydney.
“I have already had discussions with the current carrier (Qantaslink),” Mr Marshall said today.
“Moree’s air link with Sydney is vital for business, health care, government services and tourism.
“I welcome the community’s passion and determination to preserve their air link.
“We need to have an informed conversation about whether a regulated or deregulated option is best for Moree, but we cannot make a decision which will negatively impact the community.
“I won’t support any move which threatens the continuation of regular air passenger services at Moree,” he said.
The proposal from transport for NSW to deregulate the service has met with anger from concerned Moree residents who still remember the debacle that saw Moree without a regular flight service three years ago because of similar circumstances.
“The current carrier signed a contract with the community on the basis of a regulated route and I strongly believe that should be honoured,” Mr Marshall said.
NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance told ABC Radio on Thursday that the current regulation is “archaic”.
“The regulation in place does not stop and airline walking away from any intrastate air routes – that’s the bottom line,” Mr Constance said.
“All it does is put red tape on the cost of regional airlines to fly around the bush to service our communities.
“I’m actually about trying to drive down the costs of those regional airlines so we can see more affordable prices and the opportunity for new airlines to come in and open up competition.
“The (current) regulation doesn’t stop an airline walking away tomorrow,” he said.
Words and Image: Bill Poulos
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