Fares in­quiry push re­vived

Pilbara News - - News - Cally Dupe

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.

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