Prime Minister Tony Abbott has criticised Labor over reports it is prepared to compromise on a Qantas bill it has opposed.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has accused the federal opposition of being indecisive about its stance on Qantas, after Labor said it has always been prepared to amend legislative restrictions on the carrier.
Laws to remove the 49 per cent cap on foreign ownership on Qantas passed parliament’s lower house on Thursday.
The bill now goes to the Senate where Labor and the Australian Greens have the numbers to defeat the government.
Both parties are opposed to the bill over concerns its passage may send more jobs offshore.
However, Labor is reportedly preparing to compromise on the bill.
Fairfax Media reports the opposition will consider amending the bill in the Senate to remove foreign ownership limits on single investors.
Opposition employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor says Labor has always been prepared to look at amendments to the Qantas Sale Act and consider the Abbott government’s proposals.
But it will never support removing foreign investment restrictions to ensure Qantas remains in Australian hands.
“We’ve said all along we’ll look at the provisions in the (Qantas) Sale Act, that’s not new, that is something we’ve all from the beginning of this matter,” he told ABC radio on Friday.
Mr Abbott accused Opposition Leader Bill Shorten of being “weak” and indecisive on the issue of what to do with Qantas.
“The problem is that the Labor party just doesn’t know what it stands for,” he told reporters in Sydney on Friday.
Meanwhile, Qantas chief Alan Joyce and chairman Leigh Clifford are expected to give evidence in a Senate inquiry launched by Labor and the Greens and due to report in late March.