CAIRNS, Thursday 2 July 2015:  The Transport Workers’ Union is outraged at the refusal of Cairns Airport Authority to back local aviation workers, whose jobs are under threat by the Abbott Government’s proposal to deregulate aviation north of the line of Capricorn.

“The Cairns Airport Authority has a responsibility to back our local workforce and our North QLD tourism industry, both which are under threat by this proposal,” TWU QLD Secretary Peter Biagini said.

“The TWU stands by our aviation workers in Cairns 100 percent, with many of these workers already below the poverty line: 74% saying their income does not cover the cost of living.

“As a significant decision maker in our Far North QLD tourism and aviation industry the Cairns Airport Authority owes it to Cairns tourism workers to take a lead on this issue.

“Instead the Cairns Airport Authority is ignoring this important issue for the whole region by refusing to meet with the TWU which represents aviation workers in Cairns and across the state of QLD.”

The Cairns Airport Authority’s CEO has refused the to meet with the TWU on this issue.

“In 2014 QLD based airline Skytrans was forced to close shop due to the loss of one contract,” Mr Biagini said.

“Imagine the devastating effect of large scale deregulation where any airline conglomerate can come in and take over QLD airline routes. This would result in loss of local jobs as other operators bring in their own staff and a race to the bottom in pay, conditions and safety.

“It is time for the Cairns Airport Authority to make a stand one way or the other on this issue and state their position as to whether they will support local workers in Cairns, or not.”

The TWU calls on the Cairns Airport Authority to take part in urgent meetings with the union to discuss the future threat of deregulation which will be detrimental to Cairns workers and the QLD aviation industry.


Media Contact:

  • Sarah Mawhinney 0413 738 841

Media Opportunity:

  • Event: Rally with aviation workers and TWU Officials
  • When: 10am today, Thursday 2 July
  • Where: Cairns Airport, in front of arrivals entry point
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