The federal government is inviting submissions for the tenth iteration of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program, a vital initiative for the enhancement of airstrips in the Parkes electorate.
The program, part of the larger Regional Aviation Access Program, will allocate up to $12 million in grants to remote locations across the nation.
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, has expressed his satisfaction with the launch, acknowledging the keen anticipation of local councils for this development.
“I’m pleased that the Australian Government has finally opened Round 10 of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program, as I’ve been contacted by local councils and private airstrip operators enquiring about the next round of funding, and they will now be able to make an application,” Mr Coulton said.
He emphasized the significance of reliable air travel for the socioeconomic vitality of regional towns. “The accessibility of towns in regional areas to travellers, health personnel, businesspeople and other professionals can greatly impact a town’s socio-economic potential, which is why a quality airstrip is so crucial,” Mr Coulton continued.
The Parkes MP praised the foresight of the previous Coalition Government in creating the program, noting its role in sustaining connectivity to the country’s more secluded regions. He also highlighted the ongoing benefits from the investments made by the former government in regional aviation infrastructure.
Planned to take place between 2024 and 2026, the projects under Round 10 aim to bolster the safety and access of remote aerodromes. Round 9 of the funding, concluded in 2022, saw significant contributions to the Parkes electorate, including over $700,000 for upgrades at various airstrips. These improvements ranged from resealing and relining runways to safety enhancements and the installation of emergency lighting.
Eligible parties for the current round of funding include local governments and proprietors or operators of extant aerodromes in remote regions. Interested applicants have until 5PM on December 15, to submit their proposals for consideration.