Horn Island airport upgrade
The upgrade to the Horn Island Airport will now go ahead following the announcement of an additional $3.1 million in joint Australian and Queensland Government funding.
Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, said Horn Island was the main airport in the Torres Strait and this funding will contribute towards resurfacing, which will allow larger aeroplanes to use the airport.
‘In recent times surface damage has prevented planes, like QantasLink’s Q400s from landing on the island. This work will improve transport links between the islands and the mainland,’ Ms Bligh.
‘At present only the smaller Q300 planes are able to land. The difference between the Q300 and the Q400 is estimated to equate to around 2000 fewer seats each month.
‘The Bligh Government is committed to building a strong and prosperous Queensland for all Queenslanders and this project will help contribute to the health, liveability and economic strength of the region.’
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said this funding under the joint Governments’ Major Infrastructure Program would ensure the $7.2 million project can go ahead.
‘The upgrades to the airport will support an estimated 21 jobs in the region, and is an excellent example of all levels of government working together to improve the accessibility of the Torres Strait,’ Ms Macklin said.
‘This funding is the final piece in the puzzle following the Australian Government’s existing commitment of $840,000 and Queensland Transport’s $2 million contribution to the Horn Island airport.
‘Torres Shire Council has also played their part contributing $1.26 million towards the upgrade.’
Member for Leichhardt, Jim Turnour, welcomed the funding for this important project.
‘This is a significant project that will have long-lasting benefits for the people and the region,’ Mr Turnour said.
‘Ensuring the airport is able to handle larger aeroplanes also supports the growth of the region’s tourism industry. The airport currently carries more than 65,000 passengers a year and this number is expected to grow by around 6 per cent annually.’
State Member for Cook Jason O’Brien welcomed the announcement.
‘The residents of the Torres Strait rely on this airport, not just to get around, but for the delivery of a range of essential services,’ Mr O’Brien said.
‘This is great news for the Torres Strait region.’