Pormpuraaw and Kowanyama Take Flight

Media Release

WT080/2014

05 June 2014

Joint release with:

Warren Entsch

Member for Leichhardt

Pormpuraaw Airstrip in Far North Queensland will benefit from $790,000 announced today by the Australian Government for essential safety upgrades.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the upgrade was one of four remote airstrip upgrades to be approved today under the Regional Aviation Access Programme.

“An additional $225,000 has also been announced for an expanded upgrade project at Kowanyama aerodrome,” Mr Truss said.

“Under the Programme we are now providing $9.1 million to upgrade 42 remote airstrips across Australia. This new funding puts to bed Anthony Albanese's scaremongering over the future of the program.

“Remote Airstrip Upgrade funding provides essential safety and access upgrades, including repairing and upgrading runways, constructing animal proof perimeter fencing, installing runway lighting and upgrading drainage.

“This is further evidence that the Australian Government is not just committed to our cities, but is also providing the infrastructure our remote communities deserve.”

Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said the upgrade would ensure this remote airstrip meets Australia's high safety standards and can continue to operate.

“This upgrade is vital for the community in Pormpuraaw and the wider region that the airstrip services, providing access for air passenger transport services, freight companies, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Australia Post,” Mr Entsch said.

“Particularly in the north of this country, we rely on air services to provide essential goods and services.

“Airstrips like this also connect communities with each other, and can provide residents with access to work and education opportunities otherwise not possible.”

When roads become impassable during the wet season, good airstrips are the only reliable means of transport to remote northern communities.