The release of the independent assessment of service levels and regulation into regional airfares is expected to be delayed now until mid-2017, according to transport Minister Jackie Trad.
The report was slated for release at the end of March but the Minister says the assessment, while now complete, is with her department, which is now preparing submission for government based on the findings.
They delay has angered key regional MPs’ Lachlan Millar and Robbie Katter.
Mr Millar says he is disappointed for the people of western Queensland.
“The government has a responsibility to ensure residents in rural and regional communities can access essential services in major city centres without it breaking the bank.”
Mr Millar says Western Queenslanders are at times, and on some routes, paying more than double the price of airfares on unregulated routes and have to put up with an unreliable service.
“Planes often break down, delays are frequent and resident fares are regularly unavailable. I am calling on Jackie Trad to give urgent consideration to the findings. It’s time to stop talking and start acting.”
Queensland KAP parliamentary leader, Robbie Katter says the government seemed to have the same response towards issues in regional Queensland over and over again.
“Whether it be crocodile management or the regional airline issue, it is not treated with any urgency in George Street and is pushed to the side or delayed, and the people of northern Australia are fed up with it.”
“The airlines appear to be using their market power to charge exorbitant prices for air services to the north and west.”
The review has looked at whether service levels are appropriate, what the impact of deregulation on service levels would be, and whether there are routes that should be regulated.