Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce has slammed the Federal Labor Government’s six-month delay in delivering safety upgrade funding to regional airports.
Mr Boyce said regional airports in his electorate of Flynn have endured months of delays waiting to repair and resurface runways and airstrips while the Federal Labor Government refused to make decisions on funding allocations.
“The former Coalition Government established the $100 million Regional Airports Program to invest in safety infrastructure and upgrades at regional airports and aerodromes, awarding more than $70 million across two rounds,” Mr Boyce said.
“This program allows regional airports to upgrade facilities to improve local people’s access to health, education, international trade opportunities and career prospects.
“It also supports improved health outcomes for regional residents by improving air ambulance services.
“Those of us who live in regional areas need to be connected to the opportunities and services that urban Australians are so lucky to have.”
Successful airports across the region include:
- Central Highlands Regional Council – Remediation of runways (06/24 and 15/33) graded areas and drainage works ($1,592,932)
- Gladstone Airport Corporation – Surface sealing treatments to rejuvenate five main aprons and one taxiway ($864,204)
- Gladstone Airport Corporation – Floodlighting upgrade & Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPI) ($185,000)
- South Burnett Regional Council – Installation of security gates and animal fencing ($30,000)
Mr Boyce said in 2021 the Coalition extended the program for a further round which was to be delivered in mid-2022 and allowed airport operators additional time to deliver projects to account for the impacts of COVID-19 and disaster events.
“There is a worrying trend of cuts and delays to infrastructure safety investments under the Federal Labor Government,” Mr Boyce said.
“First Labor strips $69 million in road black spot funding from the budget this year and now they have delayed allocating almost $30 million in airport safety funding to regional airports.
“These cuts and delays to infrastructure funding are not good enough and raise serious questions about Labor’s priorities.”