For me my frustration with Qantas Mount Isa flight prices began four months ago when I received a phone call from North West Star editor Derek Barry saying I had landed my dream job.
Coming from Wollongong, I booked my flight from Sydney to Mount Isa for roughly $500, with the Brisbane to Mount Isa leg weighing in at $400.
I was completely gobsmacked that a flight that goes for a little over two hours can cost that much, let alone the fact the plane was completely full.
I never really understood the impacts of these expensive flights until settling in to Mount Isa.
Now I know it affects tourism, commerce, mental health and overall opportunity.
The prices not only deter people from coming here, but also deter people from leaving, locking us away from potential prosperity.
The amount of tourism this town loses because of Qantas's flight prices is quite sad for an Australian company that once had such a good reputation in my view.
If flights were reasonable between Brisbane and Mount Isa people would be able to leave for the odd weekend and I am sure the coastal folk would return the favour.
But at $800 for a round trip it is just not possible. I have spoken to a load of people who refuse to pay, opting instead to drive the 20 hours to Brisbane, putting their lives and others at risk.
Instead, remote people don't have the chance to escape even just for a few days, allowing them to reset and thus have a beneficial impact on their mental health.
Qantas CEO Mr Joyce took home $23,876,351 last year, the same year Qantas posted a record profit of $1.6 billion, according to a new analysis of CEO payments by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors.
I wonder how much of that profit came from the pockets of Mount Isa citizens.
I think the answer might shock you, when flights from Sydney to Los Angeles are often cheaper than our regional airfares.
I can't begin to imagine the level of frustration for people who have lived in the North West for a long time or even their entire life.
Politicians, journalists and local figureheads from the North West are continuing their efforts to bring down these prices.
Its a David vs Goliath battle, but it's one that won't end until the North West is treated fairly.
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