Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch is in denial about cuts to remote airport funding.
It was confirmed in Senate estimates this week that the Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) component of the Regional Aviation Access Program (RAAP) has been axed from 2015-16.
JOHN DOHERTY, ACTING DEPUTY SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The airstrips funding component is funded at this stage only to 2014-15.
SENATE ESTIMATES, 27 MAY 2014
But yesterday Mr Entsch tried to deny the cuts existed.
WARREN ENTSCH: “Any suggestion that airstrips in Leichhardt are going to be affected is nonsense,” Mr Entsch said from Canberra today. “The Deputy Prime Minister’s office has personally confirmed with me that the remote airstrip upgrades program has not been ‘axed’.
MEDIA RELEASE, 28 MAY 2014
Mr Entsch and the Deputy Prime Minister should admit they are wrong. Senior public officials have confirmed that the Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) program will end in 2014-15.
In stark contrast the former Labor Government upgraded remote airports across Far North Queensland including at Cooktown, Burketown, Karumba, Doomadgee and Northern Peninsula.
Mr Entsch’s refusal to stand up for his electorate will risk lives, hurt communities and limit the economic participation and social wellbeing of people living in remote Far North Queensland.