Keeping remote Queensland connected

The Albanese Government is keeping remote Queensland communities connected, with seven airstrips in the state set to receive funding under Round 10 of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.

Assistant Minister for Regional Development, Anthony Chisholm will visit the Woorabinda Airstrip in Central Queensland today to highlight what this funding will mean for communities, in addition to the Budget boost to make even more funding available for regional and remote aviation. 

The seven Queensland projects are sharing in $13.4 million in new grants awarded under Round 10 to improve the safety and accessibility of airstrips across remote Australia.

This includes the Lockhart River and Injune airstrips, which have secured funding for critical lighting upgrades, while Kowanyama Airport will receive support for essential runway works.

The Aurukun Aerodrome will also receive funding for a new weather information service system to support planes to more safely leave and land during hazardous weather events, while the Woorabinda Airstrip will install an upgraded runway surface, along with new line markings and lighting.

In further good news for remote communities, the 2024-25 Budget extended this highly successful program with an additional $50 million set aside to improve the safety of even more aerodromes, and include upgrades that will bolster accessibility for people with a disability.

Regional airports also secured much-needed funding in last week’s Budget, with the Regional Airports Program also extended with an additional $40 million to invest in more critical safety and accessibility upgrades. 

This program has also been expanded, to now fund infrastructure required for the net zero transition, such as electric chargers or hydrogen storage facilities.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Regional Development & Education, Senator Anthony Chisholm:

“Our government is acting to support the important role regional and remote aviation plays in connecting remote communities and supporting their economic viability.

“Queenslanders living in remote areas are set to benefit significantly from the recent round of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program, with seven projects to improve remote aviation safety and accessibility.

“With $50 million set aside in last week’s Budget for remote aviation programs, I’m looking forward to seeing even more vital upgrades being rolled out in future rounds of this incredibly successful and much needed program.

“Once completed, these will leave a lasting legacy on the state’s remote aviation sector and the communities and businesses that rely on it, while supporting jobs and the economy during construction.”