Airport Project Remains Priority - 9 June 2017

Published on 09 June 2017

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The City of Busselton is working closely with the State Government to ensure the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport progresses as per the approved masterplan.  

Key to this is the construction of an extended runway able to accommodate Eastern States and international flights and the development of a new terminal for processing the concurrent arrival and departure of up to 350 passengers.  Work on the new runway and other essential airside infrastructure is now close to 60% complete. The design for the new terminal, which must meet Federal Aviation regulations in order to cater for greater passenger movement, is at detailed design phase. Civic works components associated with the terminal’s construction have been released for tender.

The City fully appreciates that in the current tight fiscal environment the State Government is seeking a closer partnership on the delivery of this major capital project.  City Mayor Grant Henley, CEO Mike Archer and Project Director Naomi Searle have met with the Minister for Regional Development and provided a detailed update on the progress of the project and expenditure to date noting that approximately $35million of the $70millon allocated to the expansion project has been expended (or committed) in-line with the project schedule.  

The Mayor has also advised the Minster that the City fully supports a closer working relationship with the Government. The City has identified areas where savings associated with the postponement of non-time critical, non-essential works such as the construction of internal road networks, expanded carpark facilities and landscaping, can be made without affecting the future functionality of the airport.

To assist the State Government’s savings drive, Mayor Henley has advised the Minister that the City is aiming to postpone up to $4million in civil infrastructure works. “Reducing the scope of the works will return immediate savings to the Government without compromising the overall project objective which is to develop a regional level facility capable of accommodating flights from the Eastern States in the first instance. These works still comprise an important part of the masterplan but they can, quite feasibly be postponed,” he said.  “We have already invested close to $35million in upgrading airside facilities in order to accommodate larger aircraft and the development of the terminal and supporting utility services is critical.”

Development of the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport continues to receive solid support from the broader South West community and from industry who see enormous future benefits from increased tourism and expansion of freight opportunities.   A number of major domestic and international accommodation providers are seeking to expand or establish their product within the region on the back of the ongoing airport development and, most importantly, major Australian airline carriers have expressed a keen interest in utilising the facility.

“Our community and key industry stakeholders have confirmed their ongoing confidence in the airport development project. The City is fully committed to working with the State Government to ensure the delivery of a regional standard facility,” Mayor Henley said.

The Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport Development Project is made possible by investment totaling $69.73 million from the Australian Government’s Community Development Grant Program; State Government’s Royalties for Regions program, Department of Transport’s Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS) program, City of Busselton, South West Development Commission and Tourism Western Australia.

Outcomes and objectives outlined in this statement align with Key Goal Area 4 in the City of Busselton Strategic Community Plan (2017): An Economy that is divers, resilient and prosperous.

Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to meredith.dixon@busselton.wa.gov.au