Remote communities across Cape York and Torres Strait are invited to apply for funding to upgrade their local airstrip, with applications now open under Round 6 of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the funding recognised the challenges remote communities faced in accessing the services they need, particularly during the wet season.
He said applications for Round 6 were open until 29 November 2018.
“Every resident in this region knows how important good transport links are to keep this community thriving,” Mr Entsch said.
“That is why this program is so important and I would urge anyone seeking to upgrade their local airstrip to apply under Round 6, and begin preparing their application now.
“The last round saw 31 projects receive funding across Australia including several in Cape York and Torres Strait.
“This shows how important this program is to remote communities, and it would be wonderful to see projects from Cape York and Torres Strait selected under the current round.
“Applications can be lodged by owners/operators of remote airstrips including community groups, Indigenous organisations and local governments.”
Royal Flying Doctor Service Chief Executive Dr Martin Laverty welcomed the new round.
“The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program saves lives,” Dr Laverty said.
“It delivers safety improvements such as night lighting or navigation aids for the Flying Doctor to land in health emergencies at otherwise unserviceable airstrips.
“Our remote Australia health service simply couldn’t operate without this essential funding program.”
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the program was about ensuring remote communities continued to have access to supplies, life-saving medical care and education and employment opportunities.
“Australia is a big country and it is so crucial that those living in some of the most remote parts of our nation have access to good transport links,” Mr McCormack said.
“Remote airstrips play a major role in connecting remote communities with the services they need and by upgrading these airstrips we are benefitting thousands of Australians through job creation, more reliable transport access and improved service delivery.”
“The federal government is absolutely committed to remote Australia, and we have allocated $28.3 million over four years in the 2018−19 budget to improve safety and access at airstrips for remote towns.”
To apply please visit www.business.gov.au/raup.