Member for Mt Isa Rob Katter is calling for a State Government inquiry into the price of air travel to and from Mount Isa.
Following a groundswell of community frustration, the local member said it was important that an investigation into the airfares took place.
“This is an issue the community has been particularly vocal about and took the initiative to start an online petition which now has just under 6000 signatures,” Mr Katter said.
“I, like almost everyone who lives in Mt Isa has experienced the exorbitant costs involved in flying.”
“You can often get a flight from Cairns or Townsville to Brisbane for under $200, yet tickets out of Mount Isa can sit at over $800 ,” he said.
Mr Katter said he, like many others has been forced to pay over double the price of regular airfares for a return trip to Townsville.
“Prices for a return trip to Mt Isa can be ridiculous,” he said.
“What I am looking for is a justification as to why it is significantly more expensive to travel to and from this region compared to traveling the same distance in other areas.”
The introduction of Virgin Australia to the Mt Isa airport in 2012 was expected to significantly reduce prices, however this has not been the case.
Mr Katter said he didn’t want to see working families from the Mount Isa area penalised simply for living outside of the major urban areas.
“We hope that geographical discrimination can be ruled out through a review of the pricing structure,” Mr Katter said.
“ Airfares needs to be realistic so residents can visit their families and friends and specialist treatment that is not available in the area.”