A Regional Express twin turbo propeller light air plane.
A Regional Express twin turbo propeller light air plane.

‘Set aside differences’: MP calls Rex loss a bitter pill

MEMBER for Clarence Chris Gulaptis has urged Rex Airlines and Clarence Valley Council to put aside differences and reaffirm the airline service to Grafton.

The decision by REX Airlines to cease air services in and out of Clarence Valley Regional Airport was "devastating news for the community" according to the MP Chris Gulaptis.

"REX has provided an invaluable air service to the communities of the Clarence Valley for many years," Mr Gulaptis said.

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis.

"The service connecting Grafton and Lismore to Sydney is vital for all sorts of people including those involved in business, the judiciary and the public service more generally.

"That is only going to get busier with the opening of Australia's largest jail right here, right now."

Rex airlines cancelled the airline service with a seven-line email to Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay last week, and confirmed to the Daily Examiner it was because of "hostility" from a council meeting.

"Please note however that given the hostility of the Councillors in relation to this matter, and

following the call for Rex to "pull their finger out", Rex will reject Council's offer. Full settlement has already been made last week," the letter reads.

"Please also be aware that Rex will cease all services to Grafton with effect from July 3, 2020."

Mr Gulaptis said he understood that the airline industry was under intense economic pressure because of the coronavirus, but believed the time would pass

"I cannot think of a regional destination with a better economic future than Grafton," he said.

"I would encourage the airline and Clarence Valley Council to set aside any differences they may have in the best interests of the wider community and reassess their decision for the greater good.

"The community and a clear majority on Council want to continue doing business with REX and so do I, so now is not the time for 'REXIT'," Mr Gulaptis concluded.

The Daily Examiner has requested to speak to Rex management, as well put several questions over the decision which have yet been answered.



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