Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has called on both state and federal Liberal governments to act immediately and lower the cost of airfares for residents of King Island, following her recent visit to the island and briefing with Mayor Duncan McFie.
“The only way on and off King Island for residents, is to fly. Both federal and state governments need to do a lot more to drastically lower the cost of airfares for King Island residents. It’s an outrage that a trip to the dentist to fix a filling that’s fallen out can cost a minimum of $1000,” Senator Lambie said.
“Premier Will Hodgman and Prime Minister Turnbull should hang their heads in shame. King Island residents are Australians too and deserve to pay a fair price to access the mainland or Tasmania.
``It’s obvious after speaking with King Island Mayor Duncan McFie and many other residents, during my visit before Christmas, that all major political parties have taken them for granted and allowed an unfair and dangerous situation to develop,” Senator Lambie said.
``The high cost of airfares has an adverse impact on the health of residents and will stop them from obtaining proper medical checks, which keep them as healthy as other Australians. There are a number of ways that state and federal governments can lower the cost of airfares for King Island residents.
``We could expand and boost the access to existing Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (PTAS), or as Mayor McFie says, include human travel to King Island (by locals) in the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES),” Senator Lambie said.