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Andrew Cleary, Mark and Mark Ludlow Skulley

Qantas has sparked a turf war between Victoria and Queensland by cutting 500 jobs and holding the ax over 1000 more in its maintenance division.

Under the wide-ranging corporate shake-up que includes Further cuts to its international network and slashing $ 700 million in capital expenditure, Qantas unveiled the job losses and a review of its three heavy maintenance facilities at The Same team as it Reported an 83 per cent slump in first-half net profit yesterday.

The job losses are expected to hit hardest in Victoria, where there are about 1060 jobs at heavy maintenance bases at Tullamarine airport and at Avalon, west of Melbourne.

Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the state Labor government had engaged in preliminary talks with Qantas to Get Them to keep its heavy maintenance facilities in Brisbane, Considered vital to the company more than two in Victoria.

"This is their newest and most efficient plant and Therefore we think there is a very strong case for Qantas to focus on expanding the Brisbane plant, " Mr Fraser Told The Australian Financial Review.

Queensland Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman yesterday ruled in October any extra money to keep the facility in Brisbane Qantas. But he promised an $ 8 million Attracting Aviation fund to make it easier for airlines, Particularly from China and India, to create new routes to the state and boost tourism.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said he wanted to push his state's "competitive advantages" rather than get into a bidding war. However, he is under political pressure Increasing, Especially from unions, to show more urgency after a spate of recent job losses.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce used the airline's results yesterday to announce 500 jobs would be cut across engineering, catering, ground operations and cabin crew and pilots. Determined to drive efficiencies through hard-won from the showdown with Qantas engineers, Mr Joyce flagged Widely leaked review of the heavy maintenance facilities in Australia That Could see two of three existing bases shuttered.

"Tough Decisions today will Ensure we do not have to make harsher ones later, " Mr Joyce said. "The question is do we need to go to two [maintenance bases] or do we need to go to one. We have to work around what is the long-term sustainable solution, we can not go through this every few years. "

In the lead-up to the results announcement, speculation centered on the future of the Qantas heavy maintenance base at Avalon airport, Which is mid-way between Melbourne and Geelong and is owned by Fox's Linfox Linday group.

Much of the work being done at Avalon Involves refurbishing old Boeing 747 interiors, Mr Joyce said the project would be completed by the end of the year. Avalon Qantas has about 60 direct employees and about 600 contractors.

The Qantas retires its remaining 747s and the 767s flown domestically, and with new aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing Dreamliner incoming Requiring less maintenance and less often Do, "the work has simply disappeared, " the CEO said.

The Queensland government Offered a business incentive package worth $ 18.5 million in 2002 to secure Qantas's Boeing 767 maintenance facility in Brisbane. It is Understood the Queensland Investment Incentive Scheme agreement, Which Is Certain jobs conditional on being Achieved targets, runs until March 2014.

2001-12-22 21:30:15 by 2001

In Bethlehem, the Silent Nights Are Eerie

Tourists Flee City of Peace As Conflict Saps Spirits
By Hanna Rosin
Washington Post Staff
BETHLEHEM, West Bank -- In any other December, a pilgrim would recognize the road to the traditional birthplace of Jesus by its sparkle and cheer: white angels floating above the treetops, cab drivers in Santa Claus suits.
This year, the only objects festooning the road are an not even apologize to me.' She threw down her black purse and walked out of the room.
Johnny's sister Alice, 7, hopes only for child-size Christmas miracles. For the year before he was shot, Johnny was the only one in the family working, as a clerk in his uncle's store. As such, he was the one to give out the allowances. So for Christmas, Alice wants the candy she can no longer afford.

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