Struggling airline Virgin Australia has found itself in the odd position of having two different state governments fighting over which of them will bail the airline out of its current financial crisis.
Following an offer from the New South Wales (NSW) government to give financial assistance to the airline in return for moving their operations to a different airport, a minister from the Queensland state government has told NSW to "back off".
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has offered the airline millions of dollars if it agrees to move its operations to Sydney, but Queensland's State Development Minister Cameron Dick issued a warning to their State of Origin rivals at the same time as offering the airline $200 million if they remained in Queensland.
"Can I just say this to the NSW Treasurer - back off, back right off, just don't go there," Dick said.
"NSW might want to bring a peashooter to the fight, that's fine, we'll bring a bazooka and we're not afraid to use it."
Perrottet said any payment to the airline from the NSW government would be conditional on the airline moving their headquarters to Badgerys Creek west of Sydney.
With the interest from NSW to move the airline to Sydney from Brisbane, the bidding war could be just what Virgin Australia needs to get back in the air.
"If the world knows one thing it knows this: there is nothing more dangerous than Queenslanders with their backs to the wall," Dick told media.
Virgin Australia recently grounded most of its aircraft and closed its New Zealand bases permanently due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.