Been watching a bit too much Today Tonight perhaps
I actually think the Qantas reputation for maintenance is just that - a reputation, and I'm always interested in the substance that ultimately underpins the reputation. I don't get to watch Today Tonight, but I know that CASA are currently reviewing Qantas maintenance because of what CASA termed "emergent problems" and the standards of maintenance falling below the company's own benchmarks.
And CASA have gone on public record and said that. It isn't a beat-up.
But to answer the question I asked originally ...
I checked with Qantas and found that for $275 I could change the ticket to other flights. Problem solved.
Thank you everyone for your contributions