Editorial September 6 2018

Many of their “business partners”, including Shellharbour council, were caught off guard with the demise of JetGo.

Many of those business partners were informed of the dire situation the now failed company faced when they read it first in the Illawarra Mercury as it happened months ago. True story.

Shellharbour mayor Marianne Saliba described the JetGo collapse on Wednesday as “a situation nobody could have known was going to happen”.

That’s not strictly true. Few had been awake to the corporate crash  the company was headed for, but for the possible exception of Dubbo council which had initiated legal proceedings against JetGo over unpaid airport fees.

When the collapse came, many regional areas were left up the proverbial without a paddle.

The Shellharbour council was left out of pocket to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Overall though, the debts of JetGo exploded to an estimated $38 milllion.

Shellharbour council had grand dreams of making Albion Park a legitimate regional airport when it announced JetGo.

“We have been wanting to make the airport a commercial, viable business that belongs to our community because the better it does, the less we have to rely on our rates to support this business,” Mayor Marianne Saliba said at the time.

In reality, the council is now back to ground floor in the hopes and dreams of being a larger regional airport.

Shellharbour council is at great pains to be clear it has chosen wisely in partnering with Corporate Air to resume flights from Albion Park.

They have chosen a company with a long history but it is a long way removed from the larger regional carrier the council had its sight set on when starting out on this venture.

Maybe the aerial collapse has given the council a grounding we all learn when we are put on this earth.

You’ve gotta crawl before you walk. You’ve got to walk before you run.