Tuesday, December 06, 2005
An aboslute disgrace ...
News has filtered through today that Sen. Campbell wants to continue the anti-competitive trade restrictions on flights between Australia and the West Coast of the USA.
The current Minister for the Environment (and ex-Parliamentary Sectretary to the Treasurer) stated that "We have to think very carefully about Australia's national interests when we're trading in access to a very lucrative world market."
In addition to this, we have Virgin Blue privately (!) lobbying the Government that an 'Australian' airline should have access rather than Singapore Air. Nothing like nationalist rent-seeking in action!
But, lets analyse the situation within the Minister's framework, i.e., what is best for Australia's national interest.
Is it best for Australia to protect a monolithic ageing airline and provide it guaranteed revenue irrespective of its performance or service level? Call me a kooky economic rationalist, but I seem to remember having tariffs for Australian motor vehicles. Remember the 1970s, what great cars we produced. And now, with little protection the Australian motor industry employs more, exports more, produces more than it ever did protected by tariff barriers. And us poor consumers have access to a massive variety of cars and at price levels never seen before!
OH MY GOD! Unilateral tariff reduction benefits Australia! No f**king sh*t!
If Sen. "I've got national interest at heart" really wants to improve Australia's national interest, he would support the government freeing up all Australian routes, forcing QANTAS to have full and fearless competition with other leading airlines. This will ensure that QANTAS is the lean mean fighting machine that will provide efficiency, cheap, well-serviced air services to Australians.
And hey, if it doesn't, I'm more than happy to fly Singapore Air to the US! Better service, and lower prices .... how does that damage the Australian public?