Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, and Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King today announced $5.4 million in funding through the Regional Aviation Access Program to ensure safe and reliable air access at 31 of Australia’s most remote and isolated airstrips.
This funding will see the commencement of airstrip upgrades in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, with the first projects kicking off in April this year.
“With works such as the installation of pilot activated solar airstrip lighting, tree and shrub clearing, runway repairs and improved fencing and drainage, these upgrades will assist communities in meeting the aviation safety obligations required to ensure the continuation of air services such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Australia Post, freight and other air transport services,” Mr Albanese said.
“Connecting these communities to essential food, health and education services through access to safe, operational aerodromes is a high priority; this work plays a vital role in ensuring that these communities are not left on their own”, Ms King said.
“I am pleased with the response to the public call for applications, with projects ranging from large, strategic investments at Walgett in New South Wales and Mimili in South Australia, to smaller upgrades such as a lighting system at Yakanarra in outback Western Australia and Ramingining in the Northern Territory”.
Since coming to office, the Labor Government has delivered a significant investment in remote aviation safety and access, with $29.5 million in funding approved for 181 projects nationally for remote aerodrome upgrades.
For the six years to 2014 the Gillard Labor Government is investing $144 million for Regional Aviation Programs, including $61 million in total for subsidised remote community flights under the Regional Aviation Access Program, compared to the Coalition’s allocation of just $16 million for this purpose over the previous six years.