Standing up for Canberra

Fair Fares for Canberra!

The distance between Canberra is Sydney is 286 kilometres.

The distance between Canberra and Melbourne is almost three times that at 662 kilometres.

So it’s understandable to ask why on earth the price of a flight between Sydney and Canberra is up to 4 times higher than that between Sydney and Melbourne.

A last minute flight from Canberra to Sydney tomorrow will cost you $263 at best – no luggage, no flexibility.

But tomorrow you can get from Sydney to Melbourne for just $80 – less than a third of the price.

This is absolutely outrageous.

Earlier this month I received a letter from a Canberran - Monica Millgate.

She said “We are constantly shocked by the cost of airfares to and from Canberra in comparison to the rest of the country and wonder why this is happening. I work for a charity organisation and my partner is a motor mechanic, like many others in Canberra we are not high earners. The cost of airfares really puts my family at a disadvantage.”

Monica is not alone.

Since I started this campaign, countless Canberrans have told me about their expensive experiences, especially last minute trips for funerals.

So I wrote to the CEO of QANTAS and Virgin Australia asking them to please explain. Please explain and tell me why these airfares are so expensive, and the response was completely been underwhelming.

Qantas told me $23.97 goes directly to Canberra airport - which is by far the most expensive capital city airport in the country according to them. Other than that, book early. That was the only advice – book early.

They failed to get to the nub of the question as to why so many Canberrans are paying $300 plus to fly from Canberra to Sydney so I wrote to them again asking because I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, asking for a breakdown on their fares.

I am happy to report I will be meeting with the Qantas Government Relations team this afternoon for an update. Canberrans – watch this space.

Virgin Australia is yet to reply to my letter, so last week I wrote to them again asking for them to please explain. Once again, I’m yet to see a reply.

On top of these outrageous prices, my community is still seeing flight cancellations almost double to national average.

Just this week six flights have been cancelled and as we speak there are two flight delayed at Canberra airport. I feel sorry for anyone relying on getting to Sydney today and that’s a regular

This is simply unacceptable.

Contrary to popular belief, not all Canberrans are politicians.

Contrary to popular belief, they’re also not on high incomes.

I have started this campaign and I encourage all Canberrans to get in touch with me to share their experience.

I will continue to fight for my community for FAIR FARES FOR CANBERRA.