The boss of a regional airline has confirmed his company’s intentions to stick with routes linking Dubbo to Brisbane and Melbourne, despite Dubbo Regional Council launching legal action against them.
JetGo’s Paul Bredereck says his company has invested too much time and money into the city to consider pulling out, despite council lodging proceedings to start dissolving the company over an unpaid debt.
JetGo commenced operations in and out of Dubbo in 2015 after two years of negotiations between the company and the former Dubbo City Council.
Last week, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Dubbo Regional Council lodged a request to wind up the airline with the Supreme Court, with a hearing set down for next month.
Mr Bredereck said the legal action was over a long-running dispute over the calculation of passenger taxes for JetGo using Dubbo Regional Airport.
“It is unfortunate and highly unusual that Dubbo Regional Council has chosen to go down this path, and we would consider it to be ethically inappropriate,” he said.
“We’ve tried to make contact with the mayor of Dubbo and the general manager but we get referred to their lawyers.
“We’re happy to try and sort the issues out and discuss them, but we can’t even get the chance to speak to anyone at the council.
Mr Bredereck said he believed his company would successfully fight the order in court next month, saying the council had previously agreed to “waive all passenger charges, landing fees and parking fees for the first year of the operation” and provide a discount in the second year.
“In any case, the size of the debt is manageable if we were to lose, but we don’t believe we will lose,” he said.
Attempts were made to contact Dubbo Regional Council for comment, however the organisation directed media to their lawyers, who did not respond.
UPDATE: Dubbo Regional Council mayor Ben Shields says an issue involving his organisation and regional airline JetGo is being handled appropriately. Read more here.