Airstrip upgrades boost community connectivity

Remote communities throughout Australia will be better connected with vital air services including medical rescues following today’s announcement of $10.1 million being allocated towards 34 projects under Round 6 of the Australian Government’s Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the Round 6 funding continued the Government’s delivery of an announcement made in last year’s Budget of $28 million, to extend the program over four years.

Mr McCormack said the funding program helped to deliver improved access and enhanced safety upgrades for remote community airstrips, to help improve the lives of regional Australians and build stronger and safer communities.

“Improving connectivity is vital that’s why I’m pleased to announce this $10.1 million in funding will go towards these remote communities to improve their airstrips,” Mr McCormack said.

“These upgrades ensure continued access to essential, potentially life-saving health care, as well as fresh food, mail services and access to employment and education opportunities.

“Projects include a major upgrade to the runway on Flinders Island in Tasmania ($1.8 million), resealing of the runway at Cunnamulla in Queensland ($277,243) and animal fencing at four airstrips in the Northern Territory ($900,000). I’m looking forward to continue working with these remote communities to ensure we deliver the essential airstrip works they need.”

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia Chief Executive Dr Martin Laverty said upgrading the airstrips would enable better access for the RFDS during emergency retrievals.

“From Flinders Island to Palm Island and Fitzroy Crossing to Tennant Creek, RFDS needs reliable airstrips – this $10.1 million supports essential healthcare for 34 communities,” Dr Laverty said.

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