QRAM has added its voice to the protest over proposed cuts to remote airline subsidies by the Queensland Government.
People living in the Cape and Gulf know how air travel is needed for social and economic well being, including getting to medical treatment, attending important family events such as births and funerals and for training and employment opportunities
The subsidy allowed residents of remote Queensland communities to access return fares of $99 to Cairns from their community. Without the subsidy, fares can be as much as $500 one way, which puts them out of reach for many.
QRAM manager Jim Remedio says, “People in other parts of the world may not understand that it is only possible to drive to these towns and communities during the dry season, 6 months of the year, and even in those periods it is not always possible”.
“QRAM aims to visit each of the 11 communities in our network each year, and this is challenging. A road trip can take a week even in good weather.”
“During cyclone season, in the event of a lightning strike, QRAM needs to visit the town as quickly as possible to restore radio and television services. Radio is the essential service and primary means of letting community know of weather warnings”.
“Air travel in remote areas is more essential and more expensive than anywhere else in the country. Most flights cost up to $1000 return, about three times the cost of an equivalent flights between capital cities.”
“Its important that decision makers don’t make decissions about the north based on what life is like down south. This is our home.”