The Morrison Government has committed up to $100 million to upgrade regional airports across Australia.
In a move that could boost O’Connor communities, Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the Morrison Government is focused on connecting country and coastal communities.
“We have already completed major upgrades to the Norseman and Laverton airstrips, and I am now looking forward to working with the Shire of Dundas to upgrade the Eucla Airstrip,” Mr Wilson said.
“Reliable regional airports and services are vital for our region.
“Whether it’s better and more reliable services and taxiways and runways, keeping the regions connected via air is vital.
“The Royal Flying Doctor Service needs quality airports to be able operate efficiently and safely in the regions.
“It’s also important to make our regional towns more attractive for tourists so more money flows into local businesses, and there are more jobs and opportunities for locals.
“I look forward to working with local Councils and communities around O’Connor to help our region take advantage of this Budget boost.”
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the investment will provide essential works to promote aviation safety and access for communities.
“No matter where you live, we want to connect country and coastal communities and get people home sooner and safer,” Mr McCormack said.
“By boosting regional airport investment, we are making sure regional people and their communities get the infrastructure and services they deserve.”
“We want more people – especially families and small businesses – moving to and staying in the regions, and better connectivity through airports is a vital part of that plan.
“We understand communities rely on safe and efficient air services for emergency and other essential service flights. This will help ensure regional airports meet the needs of communities and local industry now and into the future.”
Australian Airports Association (AAA) chief executive officer Caroline Wilkie said the funding was a welcome initiative.
“The AAA report into regional airports in 2016 found airports provide essential links for communities but that many operate at a loss and have reduced capacity for essential capital works,” Ms Wilkie said.
“This funding will start to address this funding shortfall and assist this essential infrastructure to continue servicing communities into the future.”
The works will range from runway and taxiway works to animal fencing and safety equipment. All these works will ensure safe and more practical infrastructure to support access for communities.
Processes for funding applications and assessments will be released later in 2019, with funding available from 1 July 2019.