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MP denies Virgin bailout rejection will lead to industry monopoly

The federal government will award Australian airlines $165 million in financial support, but have rejected Virgin’s plea for a $1.4 billion bailout loan.

Shadow Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon argues the government’s decision to refuse Virgin a full bailout needs to be given “further consideration”.

He says the airline’s survival is crucial to keeping regional and urban Australia connected and protecting the industry from monopolisation.

“Would you be proposing government ownership of an airline in normal circumstances? Absolutely not – Angus and I aren’t going to have a punch-up on this issue.

“[But] desperate times call for unorthodox measures.”

However, Energy Minister Angus Taylor dismissed the concerns, arguing “the private sector is quite capable of solving [the] problem itself.”

“Let’s be clear here, when government steps in, the private sector steps out.

“There is no shortage… of private capital available to help finance industries that need [to be] financed.”

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