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22 May, 2021

Funding for regional airstrip upgrades

Communities in remote and very remote Australia will benefit from better air services thanks to the Australian Government’s latest round of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.

The latest funding package also includes $358,685 for Mornington Island Airport, Coen ($371,800); Pormpuraaw ($468,447); and Aurukun ($288,372).

 Works include improved lighting, up-to-date navigation aids, exclusion and security fencing, line marking and runway repairs.

 “For people in remote areas, planes aren’t just a convenience, they can be a matter of life and death,” said Senator McDonald.

 “Upgrades like this mean that North West Queensland residents will have improved connectivity to major regional centres and increased access to essential services such as healthcare and medical supplies.

 “They also mean food and materials can be more safely flown in when roads are cut during the wet season.

 “I am looking forward to working with these remote communities to ensure we continue to deliver the essential airstrip works they need.”

 Deputy Prime Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $8 million in funding for 46 projects will improve air access and enhance the safety of remote aerodromes across Australia.

 “Many remote communities rely on airstrips for their delivery of food, medical supplies, mail and other essential goods and services,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

 “The funding is for communities right across remote Australia, from Elcho Island in the Northern Territory, to the Kimba aerodrome on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, Kununoppin in the Wheat Belt region of Western Australia and Palm Island in Queensland.”

 “It is imperative these airstrips are repaired, resealed and are up to standard so that users can land safely to provide the critical deliveries and air transport connections for rural communities.

 “Operations that directly benefit from these upgrades include the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Angel Flight and bushfire fighting services.”

 Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Kevin Hogan said the latest round of funding shows the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to improving infrastructure in regional, rural and remote communities.  

 “Projects funded in Round 8 include resealing airstrips so that aircraft can land without getting damaged, upgrading lighting to support emergency services landing at night or fence replacement,” Mr Hogan said.

 “For example, the program is providing $154,000 to Bulloo Shire Council in Queensland to install fencing at Thargomindah aerodrome to help keep wildlife off the runways and $35,470 to install flood lighting at Murchison aerodrome in Western Australia to make patient transfers at night easier.

 “These are all works that will dramatically improve the safety of and access to these airstrips and brings the total Australian Government funding approved for remote airstrip upgrades to $70 million for 343 projects since 2013.”

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