Nick Falconer

Qantas Sale Act changes get up after messy takeoff

A SERIES of gags on debate, points of order and divisions did not stop the Abbott Government's changes to the Qantas Sale Act passing the House of Representatives on Thursday.

But despite the bill passing the Lower House, it is almost certain to face defeat when it is expected to move to the Senate in two week's time.

The debate on the bill, which aims to remove foreign ownership restrictions on the national carrier, was carried out by the government as an argument against emotive attachment to the Qantas brand.

Opposite, Labor continued its push against the bill on the grounds it would destroy the airline, sending jobs offshore in a hypothetical that would-be corporate raiders may look to spilt its domestic operations from the international arm.

But in a sitting week with very few new bills introduced, the bill will likely be seen as a political exercise, with the government still unable to get Senate support to make it pass the upper house.