The Federal Labor Government today announced that the residents of Parkes in New South Wales will benefit from a $3 million upgrade to their airport, funded in part through Round Four of the Regional Development Australia Fund.
The Government will contribute $1.5 million towards the upgrade which will extend the existing terminal and allow the airport to cater for an expected increase in yearly passenger movements to 40,000 by 2018.
The upgrade to Parkes Airport will open new markets, drive growth and create jobs.
I commend Parkes Shire Council for their successful funding application which will also provide for the replacement of the runway lighting system, improvements to security and baggage handling facilities and expansion of the car park.
Surrounding communities rely heavily on Parkes Airport to conduct business, access essential services and medical services as well as stay in touch with family and friends. The airport upgrade will make it easier and safer for them to fly in to and out of Parkes.
The upgrade also has the potential to increase the number of flights per day and increase the number of destinations people can fly to from Parkes. This means more tourists and economic growth for the region.
This project is a good example of the real benefits of targeted, long-term investment in regional communities.
Overall, the project will support 42 local jobs during construction and ongoing employment for 41 local residents.
The project is expected to be completed by mid-2016.
Information on the Regional Development Australia Fund can be found at www.regional.gov.au