City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh has met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack to discuss details of the Regional Airport Fund dispersal and possible funding for Ballarat Airport upgrades.
The Regional Airports Program will provide $100 million over the next four years to undertake works at regional airports. Further information on the program will be released later in 2019.
The Ballarat Airport’s main north-south runway needs to be extended to at least 1800 metres to accommodate larger aircraft such as the Dash-8 and SAAB-340, which are the most common regional passenger aircraft used in Australia.
The City of Ballarat also plans to build an aviation hub to become a regional emergency services base. Cr McIntosh said “If the airport is to reach its full potential to service and connect the broader region the north south runway needs to be extended, reinforced and strengthened. We also need to plan for future development of an air-based emergency services hub with a focus on aerial fire and flood response capacity”.
“It is our hope that funding for these critical upgrades can be funded through the Regional Airports funding.”
The City of Ballarat continues to advocate to both state and federal governments for funding for major projects that will benefit all of Ballarat.
Last month Catherine King wrote to Michael McCormack, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, calling on the Government to invest in upgrading our airport to the standard required by a growing regional city.
This week Ms King received a reply from Minister McCormack, pointing to the upcoming Regional Airports Program as a potential avenue for funding.
The Regional Airports Program will provide $100 million over the next 4 years to undertake works at regional airports. Further information on the program will be released later in 2019.
“This airport upgrade would offer significant benefits for our city and our region”, Ms King said.
“I strongly encourage the government to invest in this project through the upcoming Regional Airports Program.”
The project at Ballarat Airport would have expanded the main runway’s length to at least 1,800 metres – delivering a significant, long-term infrastructure asset for our city.
The expansion of the runway at Ballarat Airport will allow larger aircraft to fly in and out of Ballarat, encouraging further economic development across our region.
“While this project won’t turn our airport into a busy hub with countless flights a day, the expansion will be the first step towards developing Ballarat Airport into a facility appropriate for a growing regional city.”
“If the Government is serious about investing in regional Australian and in getting our economy back on track, I would expect the Ballarat Airport upgrade to be near the top of their list.”
“The Government ignored our region during the election campaign, refusing to invest in important projects like the Airport upgrade, BIRCH or Her Majesty’s. Investing in this project would start to show that they are committed to investing in all Australians, not just those in Liberal-held seats.”