Jun 12, 2013

Clarence Valley lands Grafton Airport upgrade

The Federal Labor Government today announced that Clarence Valley residents will benefit from a $2.1 million upgrade to the Grafton Regional Airport, funded in part through Round Four of the Regional Development Australia Fund.

The Government will contribute $1 million to the upgrade which includes an extension of the airport terminal, an additional parking bay for passenger aircraft and extra hardstand areas for helicopters.

The project will also see the perimeter fence and runway lighting upgraded, as well as the airport’s back-up power supply replaced.

Federal Minister for Regional Development and Local Government Anthony Albanese said the upgraded airport would help the community secure increased and more reliable passenger services between Grafton and Sydney.

“The upgrade to Grafton Regional Airport will help open new markets, drive growth and create jobs,” he said.

“Surrounding communities rely heavily on the 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 into and out of Grafton.”

Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin said the airport upgrade is expected to generate 15 new local jobs and bring long term economic benefits for the entire Valley.

“An added bonus is that the upgrade will also support safe and efficient year-round fire fighting and emergency response aircraft operations,” she said.

“The NSW Rural Fire Service provides vital aerial fire fighting and flood assistance to the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast regions out of the Grafton Regional Airport.

“This upgrade will provide the local community and surrounding region with the certainty that the NSW Rural Fire Service can continue to use the airport as a base for its vital regional operations.

“This project is a great example of the real benefits of targeted, long-term investment in regional communities.”

The airport upgrade is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

More information on the Regional Development Australia Fund and all projects can be found at www.regional.gov.au