Perth and Adelaide airports gain master plan approvals


Image: Steve Christo via My Wealth News

The federal government has approved master plans for both Perth and Adelaide airports, saying expansion will support future growth in both airport employment and the number of visiting passengers.

Perth Airport currently facilitates more than 17,000 jobs and contributes an estimated $2.61bn to Western Australia’s gross regional product (GRP). These figures are expected to increase to 42,000 jobs and a GRP contribution of $7.04bn by 2034, according to an airport press release.

The Perth master plan approval sees the airport move one step closer to building a proposed third runway and terminal.

Perth Airport will also work with the Western Australian state government to finalise a route and station locations for the proposed Forrestfield-Airport rail link, an 8.5km rail link that will connect Forrestfield to Perth city with a new train line.

“The Master Plan recognises that the airport needs to develop integrated plans that complement Perth’s broader urban and infrastructure plans, and take into account the impact of airport development on surrounding communities and the environment,” said Perth Airport chief executive, Brad Geatches.

Formal approval was granted for the master plan of Adelaide Airport, which is the largest single site employer in the state, contributing more than $1.9bn to the South Australian economy, based on the airport’s figures.

Jobs supported by the airport are expected to double to 37,100 by 2034.

“The investment programme recognises the importance of expansion to support a growing airport jobs and customer base, and includes plans to better integrate regional airline services into the main terminal,” said Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss…

Read more by Emily Guterres, My Wealth News 19 January 2015


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Regional Australia Institute predicts $10 billion boom for Toowoomba and Surat Basin

The Darling Downs’ economy is predicted to grow by about $10 billion by 2030. (Brisbane Times)

There’s far more to a predicted $10 billion boom in Toowoomba and the Surat Basin than mining, says the head of the independent think tank working with leaders to unlock its potential.

Resources have dominated much of the discussion about the Darling Downs’ economy recently, especially with the world’s first export of controversial coal seam gas coming from the Surat Basin in December.

Regional Australia Institute deputy chief executive officer Jack Archer has been speaking to mayors, business leaders and other stakeholders in the region this week about how they can capitalise on that and other opportunities in the region.

He said it was important not to overstate the role of resources in the region’s development.

“It’s about growing the things that sit on top of that mining base,” he said.

Transport … is connected into that, but agriculture and manufacturing and the city itself are also really important for the economy, so mining and mining investment is really only one part of the picture.”

The $10 billion figure comes from an RAI project to model economic growth for all regions around the country from 2011 to 2030.

It represents the upper range of the prediction, but even the most pessimistic outlook would see the economy grow by about $8.3 billion – more than double what it is now.

With a general idea of the region’s potential in mind, representatives from Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise approached the RAI to help ensure the region didn’t squander its opportunities.

“We know there’s opportunity that comes with brand new world class infrastructure but we haven’t as a region sat back and said what are we going to be able to take advantage of now that we have that infrastructure?” CEO Shane Charles said.

“We probably just needed the assistance of someone to coordinate the regions and we needed someone with the expertise to be able to crunch the data and tell us objectively what our weaknesses are and what our strengths are.”

Mr Archer said Toowoomba and the Maranoa and Western Downs regions, which made up much of the Surat Basin, were in unique positions nationally, with opportunities in not just mining but also agriculture, manufacturing, education, finance, health and logistics…

Read more by Jorge Branco, Brisbane Times 21 January 2015

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Deputy Premier Affirms Narrabri as a Key Regional Growth Centre

NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant, left, inspects the new Elizabeth Street Bore in Narrabri with the Mayor, Cr Conrad Bolton, Deputy Mayor Cr Cathy Redding and Member for Barwon & Mr Kevin Humphries.

The NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant made a quick visit to Narrabri on Friday to assure the community of the state government’s growing focus on the region.

He inspected state government funded projects including plans to upgrade the Narrabri Airport and the new Elizabeth Street bore.

“Narrabri is immensely important, not only has it been a historically important regional community, but its expansion and population growth is very important to the overall state economy,” Minister Grant said.

“I don’t think regional communities like Narrabri have got the deserved  recognition for their contribution to the state’s economy up until now.

“This visit is a chance to make sure the investments we’re making are hitting the mark so we can get it right for the long term, we want to get bang for buck, and the money we give out we want to make sure that has long term benefits,” the deputy premier told The Courier.

The $8.7 million Narrabri airport upgrade will be funded through the Resources for Regions program.

Conceptual designs have been drawn up to illustrate the proposed upgrade, which will include runway rehabilitation and extensions to allow larger aircraft to land in Narrabri.

The proposal also includes improvements to taxi lanes, as well as the construction of a new hangar, terminal and fuel facility.

The project budget has not been finalised yet.

The touring party, made up of politicians, departmental representatives, journalists and councillors, also visited the new Elizabeth Street Bore.

The bore was also funded by the Resources to Regions program through an allocation of 12.3 million for the augmentation of Narrabri’s water supply…

Read more by The Courier 13 January 2015

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Funding Available for Regional Airports

Local councils and eligible regional airport owners can apply for up to $50 million in funding to support airport infrastructure projects that help boost regional tourism.


Image courtesy of Minister for Regional Tourism John Barilaro and the NSW Government

The NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) is for projects that deliver a net economic benefit and meet the RTIF Regional Airports program’s objectives.

Minister for Regional Tourism John Barilaro said that improving access to regional airports had the potential to boost visitor numbers and create jobs.

“Regional NSW has some of the best tourist attractions in the world, and I want visitors to have a great experience and come back, and then I want them telling their friends and families,” Barilaro said.

“Currently over half the international tourists visiting Australia arrive at Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith Airport, yet only 20 per cent travel on to regional NSW. Upgrading regional airport infrastructure has the potential to improve this.”

Eligible regional airports are Albury, Armidale, Ballina Byron Gateway, Bathurst, Bourke, Broken Hill, Cobar, Coffs Harbour, Cooma, Coonamble, Coonabarabran, Dubbo, Grafton, Griffith, Lismore, Lightning Ridge, Lord Howe, Merimbula, Moree, Moruya, Narrandera, Narrabri, Newcastle, Orange, Parkes, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Taree, Wagga Wagga and Walgett.

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