Work be­gins on air­port devel­op­ment

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News | Times - Chloe Fraser and War­ren Hately

Work started on the $69.7 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment of the Bus­sel­ton-Mar­garet River Re­gional Air­port this week.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Bill Marmion and Re­gional Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Terry Red­man vis­ited Bus­sel­ton on Wed­nes­day for a sod-turn­ing cer­e­mony for the pro­ject, de­signed to lure in­ter­state flights to ben­e­fit the re­gion’s agri­cul­ture, wine and tourism sec­tors.

Mr Marmion said re­de­vel­op­ment of the air­port would bring “great ben­e­fits” to the re­gion and it would be “the ma­jor avi­a­tion hub in the South West”.

“The South West is one of the most im­por­tant re­gions in terms of tourism and the com­mer­cial and eco­nomic devel­op­ment of WA, so this is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment for this re­gion to ac­tu­ally have an international air­port of this stan­dard,” he said.

City of Bus­sel­ton Mayor Grant Hen­ley said the pro­ject was the re­sult of a six-year vi­sion and works in­cluded length­en­ing, strength­en­ing, and wi­den­ing the ex­ist­ing run­way to fa­cil­i­tate in­ter­state flights.

Mar­garet-River Bus­sel­ton Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Pip Close dubbed the devel­op­ment of the air­port a “ma­jor turn­ing point” for the re­gion.

“The tourism in­dus­try will have the op­por­tu­nity to shape the vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence and pro­mote all of the won­der­ful things on of­fer here from the mo­ment vis­i­tors touch down in Bus­sel­ton,” she said.

The WA Gov­ern­ment has yet to con­firm any car­ri­ers com­mit­ted to reg­u­lar flights to the ex­panded air­port.

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