Clive Palmer on his plane during the 2013 election campaign.
Clive Palmer on his plane during the 2013 election campaign. DAVE HUNTAAP

Clive says no to Qantas foreign ownership change

THE Palmer United Party will oppose proposed changes to the Qantas Sale Act put forward by the Abbott government.

Party Leader, Member for Fairfax Clive Palmer, said the Palmer United Party was committed to protecting and defending the rights of Australians to have a national carrier owned by Australians.

"The Palmer United Party will vote against the changes to the Qantas Sale Act if they come before the Senate after July 1 this year," Mr Palmer said.

"We just can't sell off assets when we're in trouble and Australia needs to keep sovereign assets for Australian people.

"Qantas is a vital part of Australia's fabric and Australians and people all around the world identify the Flying Kangaroo with Australia.

"It's a worldwide brand and the government has a moral obligation to make sure we keep it in Australian hands."

Prime Minister Tony Abbott last night announced Qantas would be opened up for more foreign investment after Cabinet  decided not to pursue a debt guarantee for the struggling national carrier.

he sais the government would move to amend the Qantas Sale Act, to remove the current 51% Australian majority ownership rule.

While Qantas had previously asked for a government debt guarantee, Cabinet decided against that option, likely in an effort not to favour one airline over others in the market.

However, the Abbott Government now faces a likely uphill battle to get the changes through parliament, with a majority of non-government senators vocally opposed to the change.

Labor, The Greens and other minority senators are likely to join PUP in opposing the changes.

Mr Palmer said the rapid decline in Qantas' fortunes was the result of the current board and management of the airline obfuscating their responsibilities.

"Billions of dollars have been wiped off the value of Qantas as a result of board and management failure," he said.

"If they are not up to the task they should resign. Air New Zealand has gone from a basket case just a few years ago to now be making a healthy profit.

"Maybe the board and management of Air New Zealand should be employed by Qantas."