Aug 28, 2012

More funding for Queensland’s remote airstrips

The Federal Labor Government today called on the Newman Government to stump up their share of funding to deliver upgrades to some of Queensland’s most remote and isolated airstrips.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, and Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King today announced $377,000 in Commonwealth funding for regional Queensland aerodromes.

The funding is made available through the Regional Aviation Access Program and is contingent on a matching contribution by the Newman Government.

“Remote aerodromes and the air services they support are vital for connecting remote communities such as those in Far North Queensland to essential goods and services,” Mr Albanese said.

“The funding we’re announcing today is for critical airstrip upgrades in Cooktown, Burketown, Karumba, Doomadgee and Northern Peninsula and further demonstrates our commitment to safe and modern air facilities for our remote communities.

“The 50–50 division of funding is a long standing arrangement with all state governments and is now up to the Newman Government to deliver their share of the funding in their upcoming budget.”

“Works at these aerodromes such as the installation of animal proof runway fencing and the upgrading of runway lighting and drainage, will assist these communities to meet aviation safety requirements and ensure organisations like the Royal Flying Doctor Service continue delivering essential services,” Ms King said.

Since coming to office, the Federal Labor Government has delivered a significant investment in remote aviation safety and access, with $29.5 million in funding approved for 181 projects nationally for remote aerodrome upgrades.

For the six years to 2014 the Federal Labor Government is investing $144 million for Regional Aviation Programs, including $61 million in total for subsidised remote community flights under the Regional Aviation Access Program, compared to the Coalition’s allocation of just $16 million for this purpose over the previous six years.