Australia says no blank cheques for Qantas
Published on Mar 4, 2014 10:26 AM
SYDNEY (AFP) - The Australian government insisted Tuesday there would be "no blank cheques" to bail out national carrier Qantas, which admitted a plan to repeal legislation restricting foreign ownership was destined to fail.
The cabinet of conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday evening said it would move to change a section of the Qantas Sales Act which limits foreign ownership to 49 per cent to free up capital for the airline.
But with the Labor opposition and other minor parties making clear they will oppose the legislation in the upper house Senate over fears jobs will be sent offshore, the proposal is effectively redundant.
Qantas said the changes were doomed, adding that it needed help now after a A$235 million (S$266 million) loss in the six months to Dec 31 and a decision to slash 5,000 jobs.
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