REMOTE AIRSTRIPS FUNDING BETTER CONNECTS THE BUSH
SOME of Australia’s most remote communities will be better connected to vital supplies, transport and medical services thanks to Round six of the Liberal and Nationals’ Government’s Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program, which opened for applications today.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the program was about improving the safety and accessibility of airstrips across remote Australia to better connect communities to the services they need to survive and thrive.
“It is important for all communities to have great transport links and even more so in our remote areas where local airstrips are crucial pieces of community infrastructure,” Mr McCormack said.
“For many Australians living in remote communities, airstrips are needed to get essential supplies, mail deliveries and potentially lifesaving medical services, as well as connect with education and employment opportunities and travel long distances.
“The Liberal and Nationals’ Government has committed $28.3 million to improve safety and access at airstrips to ensure those living in the most remote parts of our nation continue to remain connected to the essential services they need.”
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Broad said 31 projects had been approved for funding in the previous round, highlighting the importance of the program to local communities and the Australian Government’s strong commitment to supporting remote and regional Australia.
“Last round we invested more than $500,000 to improve drainage and sealing at Camooweal in Queensland, $225,000 to re-sheet and regrade the runway at Bulla Camp in the Northern Territory and $55,000 to repair fences at the Flinders Island aerodrome in Tasmania, to name just a few,” Mr Broad said.
“These kinds of projects benefit thousands of Australians living in remote communities and surrounding regions, whether through job creation, more reliable transport access or improved service delivery.
“I encourage all owners and operators of remote community airstrips who can see a real need for an upgrade to apply under Round 6.”
Royal Flying Doctor Service Chief Executive Dr Martin Laverty welcomed the new round.
“The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program saves lives,” Dr Laverty said.
“It delivers safety improvements such as night lighting or navigation aids for the Flying Doctor to land in health emergencies at otherwise unserviceable airstrips. Our remote Australia health service simply couldn’t operate without this essential funding program.”
Applications for Round 6 are open until 29 November 2018 and can be lodged by owners/operators of remote airstrips including community groups, Indigenous organisations and local governments.
To apply, visit www.business.gov.au/raup.