Queenslanders can take no confidence from Campbell Newman’s explanation about why a NSW based air carrier was preferenced over a local business Skytrans, Labor Candidate for Cairns Rob Pyne said today.

Mr Pyne said instead of explaining why the Queenlsand Government had chosen an interstate competitor over a locally-based business providing local jobs, he made strange comparisons to the cars people drive.

“It’s about time someone stood up to the arrogant Newman Government and did something about sticking up for local businesses and local workers,” Mr Pyne said.

“It certainly can’t be left to Campbell Newman’s local cheer squad here in the Far North who swallow everything coming out of Brisbane… hook, line and sinker.

“Campbell Newman is more concerned about bizarre ways to score political points than about justifying to Cairns workers why he has signed away their jobs.”

Mr Pyne said the Newman Government’s short sighted approach would also cost the Queensland Government hundreds of thousands of dollars.

SmallPic“In its continued dash towards cost-cutting, the Newman Government has failed to take into account the lost revenue due to payroll,” he said.

“What the Government is saving by undercutting local business is more than costing them in lost payroll tax.

“It’s my understanding that the tender appears to save the Government $300,000.

“However, payroll tax for a business like Skytrans would be in the vicinity of $600,000.

“When it all comes out in the wash, the Newman Government is losing $300,000 in payroll tax revenue.”

Mr Pyne said the tender also paid no attention to passenger comfort and there was no air-conditioning while planes were on the tarmac.

“In a place like Far North Queensland, that just won’t work.

“Gavin King might be happy for this happen but I’m certainly not and I’m calling on Campbell Newman to explain himself properly.”


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