Major upgrade takes flight on Sunshine Coast

Media Release

MM001/2018

01 March 2018

Joint release with:

Ted O'Brien

Federal Member for Fairfax

Andrew Wallace

Federal Member for Fisher

Construction on the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project is set to commence with a major construction contract awarded today.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the project delivered on a key election commitment from the 2016 Federal election—a $181 million concessional loan to Sunshine Coast Council.

“This project will build a new 2,450 metre runway capable of handling aircraft up to the size of an Airbus A330 or Boeing 787,” Mr McCormack said.

“I congratulate Sunshine Coast Council on awarding the contract today. It will create 2,230 jobs in the region and return $4.1 billion to the local economy over the next 20 years.

“The Coalition Government continues to create jobs and grow the economy in our regions and this loan is a great example of our commitment to find innovative ways to finance major infrastructure projects.”

Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien, who lobbied to secure Federal backing for this major project in his electorate, said he expected the expansion should translate to more than 1,500 direct and 650 indirect full-time jobs.

“We've all been doing our bit for this project. The Coalition Government has given this development the environmental green light, we've designated the airport as an international airport and we've delivered a $181 million concessional loan,” Mr O'Brien said.

“As I made clear when the $181 million concessional loan was announced, my expectation is that construction of the international airport would maximise local content and maximise local jobs for Sunshine Coast residents. That's still my expectation and I look forward to discussing the opportunities for locals with John Holland Group and the Sunshine Coast Council.”

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said the contract of around $225 million would have a transformative impact on the airport and be an important step forward for the local tourism, commercial fishing and agricultural industries.

“In addition to the new runway, the passenger transport apron will be expanded, while the airport's terminal facilities will see an extensive upgrade,” Mr Wallace said.

“Early works in 2017 saw the completion of the Finland Road upgrade—preparing the surface for heavy vehicle traffic—while utilities have been relocated and the centreline cleared. It is great to see all three levels of government working together to deliver this upgrade and I am looking forward to seeing the completion of this project in 2020.”

The loan will be repaid from the proceeds Sunshine Coast Council receives from Palisade Investment Partners, which is leasing the airport, in 2022.