Eighty-nine projects at regional airports will benefit from grants totalling nearly $30 million under Round 2 of the Australian Government’s Regional Airports Program.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the program supports important safety and access upgrades for regional airports.
“For our regional communities, the local airport provides an essential link to the rest of Australia,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“That’s why we’ve committed $100 million over four years from 2019-20 to 2022-23 to help owners of regional airports right across Australia deliver upgrades to improve runway and taxiway pavements and install new lighting or fencing.
“These projects will improve the safety of aircraft, operators and passengers, the delivery of goods and services and better meet the operational requirements of aeromedical and other emergency services, including supporting bushfire preparedness.
“This is a great example of the Liberal and Nationals Government backing the aviation industry and importantly it will help secure a stronger future for these regional areas – needed now more than ever as we continue to recover from COVID-19.”
Australian Airports Association (AAA) Chief Executive James Goodwin said funding for regional airport infrastructure had never been so important.
“Regional airports were among the first hit and will be one of the last to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic with passenger numbers dropping more than 70 per cent during the peak,” Mr Goodwin said.
“This investment from the Australian Government not only ensures regional communities can continue to enjoy safe and efficient air transport, it also future proofs regional Australia for generations to come with infrastructure which drives economic growth and connectivity.
“This program will help regional airports deliver projects which create long-term benefits, so communities can continue to have access to freight, work, essential services, health care, family and friends no matter where they live.”
The Australian Government will work with successful recipients under this round to deliver the funding needed to help support regional Australia’s post-pandemic recovery.
Examples of projects funded include:
- $600,000 to the Northern Territory Government for sealing the runway at Hughes Airstrip to support fire-fighting efforts.
- $400,000 to Charters Towers Regional Council for airstrip, fencing and other upgrades at Charters Towers Airport in Queensland.
- $260,857 to Kempsey Shire Council for fencing to reduce wildlife intrusion at Kempsey airport in New South Wales.
- $267,300 to Warrnambool City Council in Victoria to seal Warrnambool airport’s runway 04/22.
- $241,000 to the Shire of Mingenew in Western Australia to upgrade the Mingenew airstrip to support Royal Flying Doctors Service operations.
- $320,000 to the Corporation of the City of Port Augusta to reseal the apron area and upgrade the runway lighting at Port Augusta airport in South Australia.
- $90,000 to the Break O’Day Council for new fencing at St Helens airport in Tasmania.
This funding is in addition to the Australian Government’s total package of support for Australia’s aviation industry of more than $4.5 billion in response to COVID-19.
For a full list of successful projects and more information on the Regional Airports Program, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au/regionalaviation.