Communities in Cape York will benefit from better air services thanks to the Australian Government’s latest round of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the upgrades will help local communities maintain access to essential goods and services.
Aurukun, Coen and Pormpuraaw airports will receive much-needed upgrades under the program.
“Cook Shire Council will receive $371,800 to undertake urgent and critical resealing of the Coen airport runway to ensure the ongoing safety of airstrip users,” Mr Entsch said.
“Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council will receive $468,447 to replace old and decaying fences at their airport to limit risk to animals and wildlife as well as improving safety for aircraft and passengers.
“Aurukun Shire Council will receive $288,372 to upgrade its airport to include Precision Approach Path Indicator lighting.”
“Upgrades like this mean that Cape York residents will have improved connectivity to regional centres and increased access to essential services.
“I am looking forward to working with these Cape York communities to ensure we deliver the essential airstrip works they need.”
Deputy Prime Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the $8 million in funding for 46 projects across the nation 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,” Mr McCormack 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.”
For a full list of successful projects and more information on the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program, visit infrastructure.gov.au/regionalaviation