I have approved Gold Coast Airport’s Master Plan, which is a statutory requirement under the federal Airports Act 1996, setting out the airport’s strategic direction for the next 20 years.
In approving the Master Plan I have made it clear to the airport that it needs to communicate better with the local community in relation to aircraft noise and other issues.
I expect to see genuine engagement with the community as Gold Coast Airport develops in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
I am also aware of the community’s concerns about environmental issues, particularly at Coolangatta Creek.
I have made it clear that the airport must ensure appropriate management of species listed under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Master Plan outlines major investment in aviation infrastructure over the coming years to make sure the Airport is capable of handling increased traffic from the Games and other major events.
Gold Coast Airport is a significant employer and contributor to economic development in south east Queensland and far northern NSW.
Over the next 20 years Gold Coast Airport forecasts that it will create nearly 2,500 full-time jobs, contribute almost $768 million to the economy and help bring nearly 5.5 million tourists and visitors to the region.
I note that Gold Coast Airport has committed to ongoing engagement with the community through their established Community Aviation Consultation Group (CACG) and other forums.
The Gold Coast Airport’s Master Plan is the first to be approved under the Government’s strengthened legislative requirements for airport master planning. These more stringent, new requirements means the Master Plan now includes:
- a ground transport plan;
- more detailed information on developments in the first 5 years; and
- an integrated environment strategy.