LIBS & NATS’ $100 MILLION BOOST FOR REGIONAL AIRPORTS
THE Liberals and Nationals have committed up to $100 million to upgrade regional airports across Australia.
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals’ Leader 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.
“So the Liberals and Nationals are investing in safer regional runways, taxiways and projects such as better fencing to boost safety even further.
“By boosting regional airport investment by up to $100 million, we are making sure regional people and their communities get the infrastructure and services they deserve for business, leisure, health and education needs.”
Mr McCormack said regional airports provide vital links for communities to access services, job opportunities and domestic and international markets.
“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.
“The Liberals and Nationals 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.
“We will work with regional communities to determine what airport works will provide most benefit.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Airports Association (AAA) 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.