5 February 2013 © David Eyre
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan has promised that one of the two State Government business aircraft will be withdrawn, if Labor wins the State Election on 9 March 2013, in an effort to save millions of taxpayer dollars.
Currently, the WA Government leases two aircraft, which are both operated by Maroomba Airlines.
Beech King Air B200 VH-MQZ is leased for 33 hours per month, and Hawker 850XP VH-MQY is leased for 42 hours per month, at a total cost of almost $524,000 per month. Labor claims that over $21 million has been spent on charter flights over the last four years and that only one aircraft is needed.
Labor accused the Minister for Regional Development, Brendon Grylls, of using the aircraft as a “chauffeur-driven taxi service”. Mr Grylls responded that he used the aircraft in accordance with Government guidelines, flying about twice per month to the Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne and Goldfields and he uses regular airline services where possible.