Xenophon opposes Qantas plan

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Abbott government’s plan to help Qantas by repealing section 3 of the Qantas Sale Act was dealt a blow this week, with Independent Senator Nick Xenophon saying that he would join with Labor and the Greens to stop the legislation passing through the Senate.The government – which rejected a request by the national carrier for a debt guarantee – has said that Qantas should be allowed to access investment through foreign ownership deals, allowing it to operate on a level playing field with Virgin.Any changes involving part ownership are based upon a restructuring plan that will divide Qantas into international and domestic divisions.Those changes would mean foreign investors – including government-owned airlines – would be able to take a majority stake in the domestic arm, but foreign ownership of the international arm would stay capped at 49 per cent, ensuring the airline remains an Australian carrier with related landing rights.The Abbott government has conceded that any decision to repeal elements of the Qantas Sale Act is liable to send maintenance jobs offshore. Meanwhile, Nick Xenophon has called for a judicial inquiry into the airline’s financial management, and said that such an inquiry should underpin any decision to amend the Qantas Sales Act.“This is a red herring, the real problem here is the failed strategy pursued by Qantas management,” Xenophon told reporters in Canberra this week. Xenophon made the call for an inquiry following Qantas’ announcement that it would shed 5,000 jobs, having reported a $252 million half-yearly loss. “Alan Joyce and the Qantas Board have brought one of the world’s great airlines and a national icon to its knees,” said Xenophon, who is adamant that only a judicial inquiry, “with sufficient forensic account resources”, would reveal the underlying causes of Qantas’ economic troubles and determine whether changes to the Qantas Sale Act were needed.“Their botched strategy of pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Jetstar’s Asian operations seems to be the real cause of the demise, and Australians shouldn’t believe Mr Joyce’s lame excuses.”Senator Xenophon has also questioned whether current Australian accounting and corporate governance rules needed to be changed.“Right now, the consolidated accounts of Qantas Group, with over 129 entities trading under it, don’t need to pinpoint how well or how badly each division is doing….the public deserves to know how the various parts of the group are performing.”Labor has said it is ready to team up with Xenophon and the Greens to launch a Senate inquiry into Qantas’ financial dealings. Opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese is reported to have prepared the terms of reference for such an inquiry.On Thursday the House of Representatives cleared a bill lifting the 49 per cent foreign ownership limit in the Qantas Sale Act by 83 votes to 53, after a debate in which Bill Shorten called Coalition MPs “cheese eating surrender monkeys of Australian jobs”. The bill has no chance of being passed through the Senate if Labor, the Greens and independents such as Xenophon hold their line.last_img read more

Whether youre a lover of the great outdoors or no

first_imgWhether you’re a lover of the great outdoors or not, the safari is the ultimate wildlife experience.The chance to see the ‘big five’ – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo – the world’s most iconic animals, is something that cannot fail to impress.Skyscanner looks at two safari options – the chic and the cheap – that will give you the safari experience, whatever your budget.Chic Safari: KenyaKenya is Africa’s most popular safari location, and most Kenyan safaris include a visit to the Masai Mara , widely regarded as the best game reserve in the country and known for its sheer numbers and diversity of game.Here you’ll be able to view lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants, rhinos, wildebeest and zebra in their natural habitat with no cages, no crowds and no boundaries – just miles and miles of untouched African scenery. Visitors can stay in the legendary ‘tree top hotel’, luxurious lodges, or any number of chic or otherwise camping options which can be arranged via a safari tour guide and will allow you to get close up and personal with the wildlife (though not too close!) and really experience the wonder of the African safari.Find cheap flights to KenyaCheap Safari: UKWhilst watching wildlife in its natural habitat is the ultimate animal experience, it doesn’t come cheap; a family safari to Kenya will cost several thousands of pounds. But you don’t have to leave the UK to experience the wonder of the world’s magnificent beasts.The UK is well endowed when it comes to safari parks, wildlife sanctuaries and zoos, and there’s one advantage of the safari park over the real African safari – you’ll be able to see animals that live outside of Africa too.The West Midlands’ Safari Park The West Midlands’ Safari Park is a little piece of Africa right here in the UK. Offering miles of safari like terrain and the chance to see the UK’s only pride of rare white lions (which are virtually extinct in the wild) as well as elephants, rhinos, tigers, wild dogs, wallabies, wolves, buffalo, zebra and gnu. Turn up at the right time and you can even feed the animals. There’s also an amusement park with 30 rides to scare yourself on, from the New Venom Tower Drop, to the Zambezi Water Splash. And for the ultimate outdoor experience, stay at the Coppice Gate Holiday Park, in the nearby Wyre forest.Find cheap flights to BirminghamLongleat Safari Park Made famous by featuring on the BBC documentary “Animal Park”, Longleat was the first location outside of Africa to open a drive through safari park. Visitors will get to see giraffe, flamingos, vultures, seals, lions, wolves, tigers and pelicans, and can even get close up and personal with the animals at the ‘Family Pets Corner’, where you’ll get the chance to handle snakes, possums, and if you’re brave enough, tarantula spiders! Stay at a campsite near Longleat and you’ll even get to hear the lions roar as you sleep!Find cheap flights to BristolBlair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park Scotland’s Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park offers an excellent animal experience for those living north of the border. There’s a great array of wildlife including antelope, bears, bison, lemurs, elephants, chimps, lions, otters, zebra, meerkats, penguins, sea lions, ostriches and tigers.There are also plenty of rides and amusements including pedal boats, the Pirate Ship and the Giant Astraglide Slide, and for the parents there’s the essential ‘Watering Hole Bar’. Accomodation can be found at the Blair Drummond Caravan Park situated near Stirling in an attractive site, set in and around a walled garden, sheltered with mature trees and bright flowering shrubs.Find cheap flights to Glasgow or EdinburghReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedTravel to magical Africa with these flight deals from LufthansaAfrica – an intrepid traveller’s dream. A continent that is incredibly diverse in landscape and cultures, you could spend a lifetime exploring this rich, colourful land. If you want to get closer to the wonders of nature, Africa has plenty to offer – Kilimanjaro, epic Safaris, the Sahara desert are…On safari: the great wildebeest migrationOn safari: the great wildebeest migrationAdventure Travel Around the WorldAdventure travel expert Catrionna Grant from Tucan Travel introduces the world’s top spots for exciting travel optionslast_img read more