Call to act on airfares: MP

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Geoff VivianMidwest Times
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The WA Government has been urged to take prompt action on its State aviation review findings.

The call for such has come from Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney, while welcoming an announcement by Qantas that it will increase the number of flights in and out of Geraldton.

“It was a terrible blow to the community when Virgin decreased their flight schedule but Qantas’ decision shows there is clearly demand for flights between Perth and Geraldton,” Mr Blayney said.

“This will certainly boost air services in the region and will improve community confidence.”

Labor Agricultural Region Member Darren West said he had never seen Mr Blayney take a Virgin flight between Perth and Geraldton.

“It is a bit disingenuous to bemoan the loss of Virgin services when you never used them,” he said.

Mr Blayney said it was up to the Government to ensure the review was promptly actioned to ensure practical and workable solutions could be considered to further improve air-service reliability.

“The unreliability of the air services in this region affects the Geraldton community, not only in a personal sense but in an economic and business sense,” he said.

Mr West dismissed Mr Blayney’s comments as “laughable”.

“Since coming to Government in 2017, Labor has conducted a review into regional airfares,” he said.

“As a result, we have produced cut-price community fares on routes between Perth and Broome, Carnarvon, Albany and Esperance and we’re working on more.

“We have invested $6.5 million into Geraldton Airport, which has now been designated as the alternative landing site to Perth airport.”

Mr West said this made travel to Perth from many destinations more economical because big planes no longer had to carry enough fuel to get to Adelaide in the event Perth airport was closed.

“The Barnett Liberal National Government did nothing to address regional air services in eight and a half years,” he said.

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