McDERMOTT Aviation senior engineer Paul Hawthorne with technical records assistant Rochelle Cooper and operations coordinator Jesse Wilson have planes on standby to get politicians on the campaign trail.
McDERMOTT Aviation senior engineer Paul Hawthorne with technical records assistant Rochelle Cooper and operations coordinator Jesse Wilson have planes on standby to get politicians on the campaign trail. Patrick Woods

Coast company can get our pollies airborne

A SUNSHINE Coast company with 150 staff and a fleet of 10 twin-engine, turbine-jet, fixed-wing aircraft says it could have easily addressed LNP leader Tim Nicholls' transport problems if someone had bothered to give them a call.

The McDermott Aviation Group - Machjet - is Australia's largest privately-owned and operated aviation company.

Its fixed-wing company Machjet was used by former Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss when he was leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr Nicholls' camp has blamed a tight travel budget of $340,000 and the Premier's deliberate timing for its claim only one plane was available at the start of the election campaign at a cost of $100,000 which would have allowed him to fly out of the state's southeast and into the regions.

Simon McDermott, of the Sunshine Coast family-owned aviation business, emailed Mr Nicholls' office immediately he heard the claim but has been unable to secure a booking or even the opportunity to quote.

"I hope the aircraft they secured are owned by a Queensland business," he said.

Machjet was the first company to base a state-of-the-art Aero medical jet at the Sunshine Coast Airport capable of flying both internationally and domestically to evacuate ill or injured patients.



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