Apr 9, 2019

Media Release – Labor to Back Rockhampton Airport’s push for International Flights – Tuesday, 9 April 2019

A Shorten Labor Government would kick off the process of opening Rockhampton Airport to international aviation, looking to supercharge growth of the Central Queensland economy.

An incoming Labor Government would invest $1 million to develop a business case to determine the viability of upgrading Rockhampton Airport’s status to that of a Regional International Gateway.

It would connect Central Queensland producers to the lucrative markets of Asia, creating huge opportunities for high-end agricultural exports.

The change would also provide a direct international tourism gateway to the region’s magnificent tourism assets, including the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef to the north and east and the Sandstone Wilderness to the west.

Most importantly, upgrading the Rockhampton Airport would boost economic activity and jobs growth right across the region.

Regional International Gateway airports require the capacity to deliver international airport services including customs and immigration.

The business case is a crucial first step that will examine the cost of expanding such facilities at Rockhampton, as well as the economic benefits of opening the region to the world.

Airports at Townsville, Cairns, the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba are already designated Regional International Gateways.

It is beyond time that we look at the potential for Rockhampton Airport to join the international aviation community.

Over nearly six years of cuts and chaos,the Liberal National Party has been too focused on infighting to pay serious regard to regional economic development.
By contrast, Labor has a plan to assist every region in the nation to achieve its full economic potential through investment in critical rail and roads as well as support for tourism, aviation and economic diversification.

Labor’s plan for the Rockhampton Airport builds upon existing commitments for Central Queensland including $800 million for the Rockhampton Ring Road, $25 million for the South Rockhampton Flood Levee and $15 million to upgrade the Capricorn Highway.

Owned and operated by the Rockhampton Regional Council, the Airport is a major Australian regional airport, with flights to Brisbane, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and the Gold Coast. Approximately 650,000 passengers pass through its terminal every year.