The Palaszczuk Government says its new price-tracking tool for regional airfare will to help rural and remote Queenslanders monitor air travel affordability.
Making the announcement today in Mount Isa with Mayor Danielle Slade, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said regional airfares was one of the biggest issues raised when the Premier and her ministers visited in November.
"Flights play an important role in helping families from those areas get to work, appointments and other services," Mr Bailey said.
"When locals told us they wanted to look at price-tracking software, I tasked the Department of Transport and Main Roads to investigate potential solutions."
Mr Bailey said South-East Queensland public transit agency TransLink would develop its own, internal cost-monitoring dashboard to monitor historic trends on key routes across the state.
"Using the dashboard, TransLink will provide regular reports so the public can be better informed on regional airfares," he said.
The price tracking tool will include all air service routes regulated by the Department of Transport and Main Roads as well as key unregulated commercial routes and will build on the methodology used by the Federal Government's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics which has provided high-level historical airfare price tracking data for some Queensland aviation routes since 2010.
Member for Traeger Robbie Katter,who questioned Minister Bailey about this issue in Transport and Public Works Committee estimates in 2019, welcomed the announcement.
"This is first step to fixing the airfares issue in rural Queensland," Mr Katter said.
"But it has taken years to get to the point where the state government has even shown an interest in monitoring what people are actually paying on these routes."
Mount Isa City Council Mayor Danielle Slade also welcomed the announcement.
"This is a crucial step in securing affordable and equitable air fares for residents of rural and remote communities, who have long called for cheaper air fares," Cr Slade said.
"Affordable airfares will help encourage new business, attract and retain skilled and professional workers to live in Mount Isa and will go a long way to encourage tourism."
Mr Bailey said while a price-tracking tool would play an important role, the issue of high regional airfares was not unique to Queensland, and a federal government response was still needed.
"I'm hoping we'll be able to work with them in this space, so they can take action with their Senate Inquiry now complete and the Productivity Commission looking into its findings," he said.
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