The Rockhampton Airport in Queensland has secured $5 million in funding through the Coalition Government’s Building Better Regions Fund for a vital pavement upgrade.
The Rockhampton Airport Pavement Upgrade Project will deliver asphalt resurfacing to the main runway plus surface enrichment to the taxiways, runway shoulders, and both the military and regular public transport aprons.
The airport upgrade will significantly reduce closure from flood events by 8.5 days, saving the economy around $6.29 million based on the 2016 figures, creating 27 jobs and delivering incremental benefits of $22.9 million to the economy over 15 years.
Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said, “This airport upgrade will reduce the impact of flooding closures and reduce the clean-up costs, protecting jobs and economic growth during and after flooding disasters.
“The Rockhampton Airport is a major gateway for the wider region, providing key labour and goods supply chain linkages, and other services for key sectors of transport and logistics, tourism, health and emergency services, defence, and agriculture.
“This project will address significant constraints to job creation, commercial investment and economic growth in Capricornia immediately and for the long term.
“The upgrade will reduce closure times during flood events, reducing investment risk and therefore allowing for growth and diversification of the economy.
“The efficiency of emergency air services like the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Angel Flights and CQ Helicopter services based at the airport are vital during natural disaster events, and these services are disrupted during post disaster closures.”
The upgrade will also increase efficiency of airport operations for both service delivery and operating efficiency, while negating the need for ongoing surface enrichment treatments that are disruptive to airport operations.
“Councillor Neil Fisher and I have fought long and hard for this project, so great to see it delivered,” Ms Landry said.
“The Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) received more than 500 applications and ours was one of about 100 which were approved.
“I congratulate Rockhampton Regional Council and look forward to working with them to deliver benefits to Rockhampton and the broader Central Queensland.
Minister for Regional Development, Fiona Nash, said she created the Building Better Regions Fund to help build strong communities for decades to come.
“I aim to help build the kinds of regional communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and projects like this one do exactly that,” Ms Nash said.
“After a competitive merit-based selection process, there are always those who were not successful and are naturally disappointed. We know this and we’ve got dedicated staff in the Department of Industry to give tailored feedback to each unsuccessful applicant to help improve those applications for next time.”
Ms Nash said she expected to open another round of BBRF before the end of 2017.