Proposed changes to the Qantas Sale Act allowing greater
foreign investment in the business seem unlikely to find
short-term parliamentary support, prompting the airline to
call for immediate action.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to repeal a section of the
Act, thus paving the way for majority international ownership
of the company's domestic arm, generating much-needed
The international division of Qantas would "remain in every
sense an Australian airline", he said, with the Foreign
Investment Review Board and the Air Navigation Act ensuring a
minimum 51 per cent local stake.
Legislation will likely reach parliament by the end of the
But Labor and the Australian Greens strongly oppose the
government's plan, claiming it will send jobs offshore.
Qantas said the government's proposal addressed an important
long-term change, but noted it had a limited chance of
passing the upper house where Labor and the Greens hold a
"If this proposal by the government to change the Qantas Sale
Act is not passed, we would expect the government and the
parliament to consider alternative measures," Qantas said in
The airline wants to end an imbalance in the industry in
which rival Virgin is able to access foreign capital from
"We need immediate action to address the imbalance."