“Cost of air travel is one of the issues most often raised with me by Territorians. Sky high airfares and connectivity affects residents, along with tourism, investment and commerce,” said Mr Gosling, Member for Solomon.
Mr Gosling has recently launched the #fairfaresNT campaign. Through the campaign website fairfaresnt.com, Territorians and Territory businesses are encouraged to share their experiences and make their voices heard.
“Air travel isn’t just a luxury. It’s essential for the wellbeing and sustainability of our community and vital for businesses and the tourism industry,” Mr Gosling said.
The campaign has taken off, with submissions flying in.
Darwin resident Joanne details her husband’s experience of paying $1400 return economy to Sydney.
“He could fly to London or the USA for less than that. In fact we recently flew to Chile with Qantas for $1099 return. How can this be?” she said.
Territorians have told stories of being unable to return home to Darwin during university breaks, missing weddings, family celebrations and tragically, final farewells to loved ones as a result of astronomical fares.
Territory businessman Grahame Webb says decent air connectivity is key to unlocking economic growth.
“We have the potential to be a Gateway [to Asia]…but the lack of direct air connections between Darwin and Asia is a major constraint on development.”
While flights may be more affordable on certain days, there are times when fares must be purchased with little notice, whether for business or family emergency.
Submissions to the #fairfaresNT campaign will be presented at a Senate inquiry hearing in Darwin on 5 April that will examine the operation, regulation and funding of air services to rural, regional and remote communities.
“The inquiry’s report will be informed by the information shared in submissions and at hearings. I want to make sure Territory voices are heard,” said Mr Gosling.
Further information on the hearings can be found on the inquiry website.
SUNDAY, 25 MARCH 2018