Robbie Katter welcomes state government airfare tracking promise

Robbie Katter welcomes state government airfare tracking promise

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Robbie Katter has welcomed the state government's promise to install airfare tracking software.

Robbie Katter has welcomed the state government's promise to install airfare tracking software.

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Transport Minister Mark Bailey has instructed his department to investigate price tracking software for airfares.

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Traeger MP Robbie Katter says the Palaszczuk government is finally addressing the state's rural airfare crisis, which has crippled the livability of regional communities such as Mount Isa.

Mr Katter's comments come after Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey instructed his department to investigate price tracking software for airfares.

In response to a question on notice, Mr Bailey said airline pricing was a dynamic process with prices changing daily in response to demand for flights across all fare types and factors such as flight date and time, ticket purchase and conditions all contribute to cost.

"Determining an 'average price' is difficult. I have asked the department to investigate price tracking software and I will report back on viability and effectiveness of the software," Mr Bailey said.

"There is no doubt that regional and rural flights present challenges to airlines in terms of their profitability and costs because there are fewer passengers, smaller aircraft and flights are less frequent. However, that should not stop us looking for ways to bring prices down for those regional communities."

Mr Katter had asked Mr Bailey in parliament when the government was going to look at the price tracking issue.

"It's been very concerning that the government has never had the ability to track and therefore properly question the shockingly high prices being charged on routes like Mount Isa," Mr Katter said.

"Time and time again I have pushed back on this issue and on the government's spiel that 'the market' would sort out the impossibly high prices - it is encouraging now to see there has been some acknowledgement that this is not, and never will be, the case."

Mr Katter said having price tracking software was first step in reining in price gouging.

"(This) technology to do this has been available for a long time and up until now we have been left for dead crying out for it," he said.

"I would like to thank the Minister and his department for their efforts so far - for the regions this is certainly a battle that has been won in the war against regional airfares."

Mr Bailey said he had also written to the heads of Qantas, Virgin and Rex to request a meeting see what further action they could take.

"In determining aviation policy, TMR is utilising the outcomes of the federal Senate Inquiry, alongside feedback from stakeholders and detailed independent analysis," he said.

"The federal government has primary responsibility for aviation policy, and a number of recommendations require actions from them as well to keep downward pressure on airfares. This includes a further Productivity Commission Inquiry."

However the federal government has ignored those recommendations in its response with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack promising only to develop a Regional Aviation Policy statement.

The story Robbie Katter welcomes state government airfare tracking promise first appeared on The North West Star.

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