It’s PLANE and simple – privatization doesn’t pay

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The hip pockets of North Queenslanders have been hit yet again with a recent increase to the cost of ticket sales to Townsville airport and the Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter says it’s a prime example of how privatization can ramp up costs.

The private owners Queensland Airports Limited have announced a levy increase to $12-$16 as part of their multi-million dollar Airport upgrade, leaving travelers no choice but to pay up-to 9% more for their tickets.

“Once again we see an example of corporate control in a limited market; we have no choice but to pay, there is only one airport,” Mr Katter said.

“It’s easy to argue the benefits of competition in the market place, but when there is a single supplier how can the customer win?”

“A monopoly isn’t good for anyone but the corporations who run them”.

While Mr Katter believes the airport is due for an upgrade he is concerned about impact on the consumer and the tourism industry in Far North Queensland.

“We need to be encouraging people to explore the far north regions, not charging them even more,” Mr Katter said.

“A worn-out but full airport will always be more profitable than a modern empty one.”

With Townsville passengers already contributing over $52.5 million in aero charges over the last five years Mr Katter wonders why the company isn’t capable of investing its own funds into the upgrade.

“When the Newman government proposed the sale of our electrical assets KAP was the first to stand against it, to prevent a similar situation,” Mr Katter said.

“This is a small scale example of what could have occurred state wide with our electricity.

“I’m not opposed to a free market, but I will always be opposed to private monopolies taking advantage of their situation,” he said.

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