My Cabinet colleague Darren Chester, the Member for North Sydney Trent Zimmerman, Alan Joyce and the Qantas staff, crew and board members, ladies and gentlemen.
What an absolute delight it is to be here this morning.
As a very regular customer of Qantas, indeed I feel like I’m part of the family these days, I want to say what a pleasure it is to be here this morning to welcome the new 787 Qantas Dreamliner to Sydney.
I congratulate the board of Qantas, Alan Joyce and his team, and the vision of those who have committed to yet another significant milestone in the history of this great airline.
The fact is this does represent a new era for Qantas.
It represents a next generation of aeroplanes, new routes for millions of Qantas customers, and all this in the lead up to another significant milestone – in 2020, the centenary of Qantas.
For almost 100 years, this airline has been demonstrating that fighting, dynamic Aussie spirit of innovation and discovery and enterprise, and connecting thousands of communities across millions of kilometres in Australia and around the world.
Qantas has always led the pace.
In 1959 Qantas was the first airline to fly passengers across the Pacific.
In 1989 Qantas was the first to connect Sydney and London with a non-stop passenger flight.
In 2014 Qantas flew the biggest airline – the A-380 – on the longest route, from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth.
Now with the first of eight Dreamliners, Qantas will be the first to fly regular passenger flights between Australian and Europe.
I am so excited that in March 2018, Qantas will be flying from Perth to London on these magnificent Dreamliners.
I’ve calculated that would be: three movies, three meals, an eight hour sleep and still time to read all of my briefs and documents, so that will be wonderful.
This will be a huge boost for trade and tourism, not only into Western Australia but across Australia.
Our tourism industry is such an important part of the Australian economy.
Over the last five years we have seen an increase in visitor numbers of something like 45 percent, and the value of the tourism industry has increased by 50 percent.
We are living in an increasingly interconnected globalised world, and our part of the world – the Indo-Pacific – is the most dynamic economic region in the world, and there is a growing middle class, consumers who will be looking for high quality goods and services, and Australia is exquisitely positioned to provide them.
We have just set a world record – Australia has experienced 26 consecutive years of uninterrupted economic growth. No other economy has achieved that.
For us to maintain that momentum, we know we have to remain open and internationally competitive, we have to attract skilled people to Australia to build our capacity, we have to retain a steady flow of foreign investment into our country.
The Australian Government is committed to maintaining that momentum by a competitive corporate tax rate, by affordable and reliable energy, a regulatory environment that is conducive to the private sector with innovation at the heart of our economy.
Qantas, by its investment in these Dreamliners, is demonstrating its confidence and optimism in the Australian economy and the Australian nation and its people.
Ladies and gentlemen, Sir Hudson Fysh epitomises all that is Qantas.
He fought in the First World War with the Light Horse Brigade at Gallipoli, he was in the Middle East, and in 1917 – 100 years ago this week – he graduated from the Royal Flying Corps, swapping form the Light Horse to the planes.
He went on to have a distinguished career for the remainder of the War, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross.
In 1920 he with two others, co-founded Qantas, and he went on to be the Managing Director and Chairman.
Not even Sir Hudson Fysh with his grand vision for Qantas could have imagined how the airline would be today – a global leader.
This is the story of Qantas.
This is the dream of Qantas.
This is the Dreamliner.
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