3000 jobs in play as Qld races to bring Qantas home

 

Queensland is locked in a three-way race to secure thousands of Jetstar and Qantas' jobs, with the state set to offer economic incentives to lure the national carrier north.

Qantas announced in September it would reassess its property portfolio and flagged the possibility of consolidating the headquarters of Jetstar and Qantas away from Melbourne and Sydney into one city.

Qantas is remaining tight-lipped about its property review process, with executives now in the final stages of reviewing the future of its office and maintenance facilities.

It is understood Queensland is in a three-way race with Victoria and New South Wales to house the headquarters of Australia's flagship and budget airlines.

The field has narrowed after WA, SA and the ACT had earlier expressed interest in winning the deal.

 

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. Picture: Brendan Radke
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. Picture: Brendan Radke

 

Qantas declined to comment on the process, however, the carrier intends to name a preferred state by the end of the month.

Queensland's proposal, which is thought to include economic incentives, is considered strong.

The State Government has declined to provide details on the bid but confirmed bureaucrats were still in talks with Qantas executives.

"The Palaszczuk Government continues to engage with the Qantas Group in relation to the potential to expand its Queensland-based operations as part of the expression of interest process," a spokesman for Treasurer Cameron Dick said.

The government, which last year invested $200m to keep Virgin Australia in Queensland, declined to be drawn on the detail of the proposal or the state's chances of securing Qantas.

However, Queensland could limit its economic incentives on the provision the airline keeps its maintenance facility in the capital.

About 750 heavy maintenance jobs are located at Brisbane Airport and Qantas has declared it is open to considering the future of that base.

 

Jetstar’s headquarters could be located in Queensland if the state steals thousands of jobs off Melbourne.
Jetstar’s headquarters could be located in Queensland if the state steals thousands of jobs off Melbourne.

 

Queensland's bid has widespread support from the aviation industry, with Brisbane Airport Corporation declaring it could house the entire Qantas and Jetstar operation.

Aviation experts have labelled the Flying Kangaroo the "golden goose" of domestic aviation, with up to 3000 jobs potentially up for grabs.

In September former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, who first lured Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Australia to Brisbane 20 years ago, said Qantas should also be loyal to the state after previously receiving incentives to locate its maintenance facility here.

"Queensland already has an edge over the other states because of the aviation skills already here and the Boeing legacy," he said.

"It would cost Qantas additional money to build that capacity interstate.

"That is an advantage for Queensland in any negotiations."

Originally published as 3000 jobs in play as Qld races to bring Qantas home