Question Time: Michael McCormack defends private jet concessions

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has defended a decision to waive thousands of dollars worth of aviation fees for private jets.

Labor has this week grilled Mr McCormack over the support for the aviation industry, which it says has given concessions to billionaire Clive Palmer to fly around in luxury jets.

“The Deputy Prime Minister justified giving tens of thousands of dollars to the owners of private jets because they helped ensure frontline medical personnel could get around the country,” Labor MP Catherine King said during Question Time.

“How many frontline medical personnel did billionaire Clive Palmer carry on his luxury private jet?”

Transport Minister Michael McCormack has defended support for the aviation industry during Question Time. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia

But Mr McCormack backed his aviation support package saying it “did not discriminate”.

“The shadow minister supported that … but does not obviously support it now,” he said.

“The Royal Flying Doctor Service is also a beneficiary.

“I am asked about the importance and what has transpired with charter flights, and I have said all along, repeatedly, ad nauseam that planes in the air means jobs on the ground.”

Mr McCormack said every commercial flight required at least one pilot, one cabin crew, one ground crew, an airport reporting officer, an air traffic controller, a firefighter, one airline operations worker and someone to refuel.

“I am proud of the fact we have put in place $2.7 billion to help the aviation sector” Mr McCormack said.

“I’m proud of all measures were put in place for the budget for regional Australia and to help those transport links.”

Catherine King reacts during Question Time in the House of Representatives. Picture Gary RamageSource:Supplied

However, Ms King said when Labor called for the Morrison Government to come up with a plan for aviation, it didn’t mean a plan for private jets.

“Through the Morrison Government’s aviation support package, tens of thousands of dollars have been delivered through air services charge rebates to Crown Casino, Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy, Leppington Pastoral Company and other members of Australia’s business and financial elite,” Ms King said on Tuesday.

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