May 14, 2013

Funding for Remote Community Airstrips: Improving safety and access

Remote communities will benefit from an additional $9.9 million over the next two years to upgrade airstrips, making them safer for aircraft.

For Australians living in remote communities, the local airstrip is a vital lifeline, providing residents with regular air access for emergency services, essential supplies and connecting them to regional centres.

This is particularly important where road access is unavailable, unreliable or disrupted for extended periods during the wet season.

This additional funding, provided under the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program, is for aviation safety upgrades on a co-funding basis, and to provide for a higher proportion of funding for works at identified remote indigenous communities.

Applications for funding will open later this month.

Already, more than $50 million has been made available through the program to upgrade 237 remote airstrips, ensuring some of the nation’s most remote communities have access to safe, reliable and regular air services.

This includes major upgrades to airports at the Indigenous communities of Mornington Island ($2,113,758) and Fitzroy Crossing ($1,800,000) in Western Australia, to animal fencing upgrades at Nepabunna in South Australia ($29,000), and the installation of runway lighting at Tibooburra in New South Wales ($20,000).

Since coming to Government, Federal Labor has injected more than $261 million of assistance into regional and remote aviation – more than five times what was spent by the former Coalition Government in the preceding six years.

This Budget keeps our economy strong by making the smart investments for our future and ensures every Australian, no matter where they live, gets a fair go.

We are investing for the future, putting jobs and economic growth first and protecting the important services that Australians rely on.

Further information on the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program can be found at http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/regional/index.aspx.