Airport upgrade to protect and grow economy with Coalition's Building Better Regions Fund announcement

Media Release

FN132/2017

04 August 2017

Joint release with:

Michelle Landry

Federal Member for Capricornia

  • The Rockhampton Airport Pavement Upgrade will become reality, securing $5 million from the Building Better Regions Fund
  • Upgrade will be a boost for local tourism and other key local industries
  • Building Better Regions Fund provides much needed funding to help grow regional communities and economies

The Rockhampton Airport will receive a vital upgrade following news the Airport Pavement Upgrade has won funding through the Coalition Government's Building Better Regions Fund, MP for Capricornia Michelle Landry announced today.

Ms Landry said the airport pavement upgrade would receive $5 million through the Coalition's Building Better Regions Fund, making future military and public use expansion a reality.

“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,” Ms Landry said.

“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 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.

“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,” she said.

We will also see increases in 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.

"The Building Better Regions Fund 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," Minister 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. They can be contacted on bbrffeedback@industry.gov.au."

Minister Nash said she expected to open another round of BBRF before the end of the year.

Minister Nash will announce the successful applicants for funding under the BBRF's Community Investments Stream—for projects designed to support a range of local capability-building activities—in the coming months.

More information about the Building Better Regions Fund is available at: www.business.gov.au/bbrf.