Take-off for upgraded Julia Creek Airport

The upgraded Julia Creek Airport has officially reopened, providing an all-weather runway which will ensure more reliable year-round access to the local community.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the Australian Government had committed more than $1.17 million to the project under its Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.

“The Federal Government is committed to upgrading remote airstrips to ensure safe year-round access to communities and delivery of essential goods and services and this is a great example of this investment delivering for McKinlay Shire,” Mr McCormack said.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Building our Regions-funded upgrades ensure Julia Creek and the surrounding area have a safe, usable airport in all-weather situations.

“The old runway was experiencing ponding issues which made it unsafe during wet weather. This made responding to critical incidents very difficult, especially when these incidents have occurred on other infrastructure networks, such as road or rail,” Mr Dick said.

“Thanks to $500,000 from Building our Regions, essential upgrades have been made to the runway to ensure it meets Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) standards.

Senator for Queensland Ian Macdonald was on hand to officially reopen the upgraded runway, which now features a stabilised surface and improved drainage.

“The Government will continue to invest in this type of upgrade, with the recent Federal Budget committing $28.3 million to extend funding for works under the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program that strengthen local economies,” Senator Macdonald said.

State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart joined Senator Macdonald at the runway's official reopening.

“This is big news for the Julia Creek community, with an instant pay-off in terms of delivery of essential goods and services including healthcare, fresh food and mail,” Mr Stewart said.

McKinlay Shire Mayor Belinda Murphy said the Australian and Queensland governments' financial support of the project was a great example of different levels of government working together for the benefit of local communities.

“The support of our funding partners was integral in delivering this upgrade, which included resurfacing and sealing of the runway pavement, reinstatement of line markings, drainage works to protect the new runway and the replacement of navigation lights,” Cr Murphy said.

The $2,291,090 upgrade was funded by the Australian Government ($1,170,545), Queensland Government ($500,000) and McKinlay Shire Council ($620,545).

For more information on the Australian Government's Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program, visit infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/regional/raug.aspx.