Regional Australian airstrip access to medical services

34 regional airport infrastructure projects around Australia will receive a share of $10.1 million funding aimed at connecting remote communities with vital air services.

The upgrades aim to ensure continued access to essential, potentially life-saving health care, as well as fresh food, mail services and access to employment and education opportunities.

The funding falls under Round 6 of the Federal Government’s Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, said the Round 6 funding was part of the $28 million allocated in the 2018-19 Budget to extend the program over four years.

Mr McCormack said the funding program helped to deliver improved access and enhanced safety upgrades for remote community airstrips, to help improve the lives of regional Australians and build stronger and safer communities.

“Improving connectivity is vital that’s why I’m pleased to announce this $10.1 million in funding will go towards these remote communities to improve their airstrips,” Mr McCormack said.

Projects include a major upgrade to the runway on Flinders Island in Tasmania ($1.8 million), resealing of the runway at Cunnamulla in Queensland ($277,243) and animal fencing at four airstrips in the Northern Territory ($900,000).

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia Chief Executive, Dr Martin Laverty, said upgrading the airstrips would enable better access for the RFDS during emergency retrievals.

“From Flinders Island to Palm Island and Fitzroy Crossing to Tennant Creek, RFDS needs reliable airstrips – this $10.1 million supports essential healthcare for 34 communities,” Dr Laverty said.

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