Fares inquiry push revived
The “appalling” cost of airfares to and from the North West has been thrown into the spotlight after calls for a price inquiry were raised in State Parliament.
The Pilbara Regional Council is pushing for a State Government inquiry into the high cost of flights between Perth and the Pilbara.
Member for Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills backed the campaign in Parliament this month and said any inquiry should include the Kimberley and Goldfields whose residents also had to contend with with high fares.
“This is not a call for airline bashing … on the contrary, we need to work with the airlines to help make regional airfares more affordable,” he said.
Mr Grills said the sector needed to be examined so the State could see what role it could play in reducing airfares. Mr Grills told The Kimberley
Echo the cost of flying to Perth from Kalgoorlie was about 55¢ a kilometre compared with 7¢ to go from Perth to London.
Nationals WA Kimberley candidate Rob Houston said he recently paid $1500 for a return flight from Broome to New South Wales.
“Such high prices are deterring visitors to the Kimberley and this undoubtedly has a negative impact on the local economy and tourism sector,” he said.
“It also prevents family members and friends from visiting.”
Pilbara Regional Council’s latest campaign advocates subsidised airfares and urges a State inquiry to reveal why airfares to regional areas are so high.
In July, Port Hedland International Airport Group of Companies chairwoman Cheryl Edwardes told the Hedland Economic Resource Forum she couldn’t believe the price for an economy seat from Perth to Port Hedland and described it as appalling.
Calls for a State inquiry also come a year after Newman resident Cyndy Williams instigated a petition calling for cheaper airfares and Karratha student Liam Payne travelled to State Parliament to read out a similar petition.
Passengers disembark from a Qantas flight from Perth at Karratha Airport.