Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Attorney General

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia

Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

Leader of the Nationals in the Senate

Senator for Victoria




The Coalition notes the unanimous decision of the High Court in the Qantas case and believes it sends a clear message to the company’s board and management.

Shadow Attorney General Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said: “Today’s decision demonstrates a strong need for Qantas management to refocus on what should be its core objective of providing a high-quality service and to deliver for its employees, its customers and the Australian public.”

“Qantas should spend less time focusing its efforts on getting the Albanese Government to block its competitors and helping them run joint political campaigns. Their focus should be squarely on running a high-quality airline,’’ Senator Cash said.

The High Court decision concerned the general protection provisions in the Fair Work Act. It came down against the company because a substantial and operative reason for the decision to outsource its ground handling operations was to prevent the exercise of a workplace right.

“We note that Qantas has accepted the decision and has expressed regret about the impact their outsourcing decision had had on employees. It will now be a matter for the courts to deal with penalties and possible compensation,’’ Senator Cash said.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said: “This decision lies squarely at the feet of former CEO Alan Joyce and the board of Qantas.”

“Qantas’ behaviour as a leading corporate and one of Australia’s most important companies is regrettable and reprehensible,’’ Senator McKenzie said.

“The workers at Qantas do an amazing job getting us into the sky and to our destination safely,’’ she said.

“Today’s High Court ruling that Qantas breached protections in the Fair Work Act comes on top of allegations the company sold ghost flights and attempted to poach people’s Covid flight credits, while agreeing to a generous payout to its former CEO,’’ Senator McKenzie said.

“Australians want an airline that is affordable, where planes take off safely and land on time, and their bags arrive at the destination with them,’’ she said.

“It’s time Qantas focus on their core business and restore their corporate reputation as an employer of choice,’’ Senator McKenzie said.