April 28th 2007

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: East Timor election: what's cooking?

EDITORIAL: Implications of East Timor's election

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Kevin Rudd's character under scrutiny

OVERSEAS TRADE: Wheat-growers back single-desk selling

MANUFACTURING: Japan still shows the way

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Easter and the media / Literacy, and all that / Anzac Day / Jews and Muslims / Pre-Budget ruminations

DAVID HICKS AFFAIR: Media's blind eye to Hicks treason

THE COLD WAR: How Moscow framed Pope Pius XII as pro-Nazi

GREAT BRITAIN: Why Britain is no longer great

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: Lottery players fleeced for $100 million

ETHICS: New safeguard for vulnerable patients

HEALTH: Married gays die 24 years younger

OBITUARY: Dr John Billings (1918-2007) and the Culture of Life

AS THE WORLD TURNS: The unmarriage revolution / Unexpected outbreak of morality / Mediocrity on the march / Children recruited to spy for Big Brother

Antidotes to narcissism (letter)

Problems with surrogacy (letter)

Politicised public service (letter)

Bell tolls for national icon (letter)

CINEMA: Spartan sacrifice that saved Greece


BOOKS: BACKS TO THE WALL: A larrikin on the Western Front, by G.D. Mitchell with Robert Macklin

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Bell tolls for national icon (letter)

by Robert Ettery

News Weekly, April 28, 2007


There's an old familiar ring here:

• Qantas executives and directors voting themselves massive salary rises and bonuses that would cripple a Third World country's economy.

• Qantas aircraft maintenance and servicing - as well as their own call-centres - being out-sourced overseas to save a buck.

• Qantas aircraft breaking down so that passengers are now bumped down (both in service and quality) to available Jetstar seats with little or no compensation.

• Jetstar passengers, 300 in all, stranded for two days in Hawaii and misinformed - and for what? Because the new outsourced service-agent there took two days to fix a “dodgy” fuel gauge.

While Qantas executives and directors continue to “feather their own nests” and to “get fat off the lamb (kangaroo)”, their customers - their full fare-paying passengers - are subjected to an increasingly shoddy and inferior service.

Thanks to a culture derived from the old '80s adage, “save a dollar, pay yourself a two-dollar bonus for delivering it”, a national icon is slowly being destroyed.

The afore-mentioned “old familiar ring” is called a death-knell, and it is tolling for Qantas.

Of course, don't expect the Government to help. Without any public tendering whatsoever, the Government has just awarded Qantas a $900 million contract, thank you very much! So much for competition!

Who is it that the politicians fly with, again courtesy of the taxpayer?

Robert Ettery,
Mirboo North, Vic.

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