State com­mits $6.5m to air­port facelift

Geraldton Guardian - - News - Zoe Keenan

Min­is­ter for Trans­port Rita Saf­fi­oti has an­nounced the State Gov­ern­ment will com­mit $6.5 mil­lion to the Ger­ald­ton Air­port re­newal but said Fed­eral fund­ing was re­quired for an ex­pan­sion.

The an­nounce­ment comes af­ter the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment re­jected the City of Greater Ger­ald­ton’s ap­pli­ca­tion for $10 mil­lion over con­cerns the State Gov­ern­ment might not com­mit funds.

Ms Saf­fi­oti said the com­bined $13 mil­lion from the State and the City of Greater Ger­ald­ton would up­grade the air­port at its cur­rent ca­pac­ity.

“The re­newal will in­clude things such as up­grad­ing the run­way and cor­rect­ing any is­sues on it in order to keep it op­er­at­ing in a good state,” she said.

“This ini­tial $13 mil­lion fund­ing won’t help with ex­pand­ing the run­way, how­ever.

“Fur­ther Com­mon­wealth fund­ing would help this.”

Ms Saf­fi­oti said she was dis­ap­pointed the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment had not com­mit­ted fund­ing but said the State would be push­ing for the $10 mil­lion in the sec­ond round of grant ap­pli­ca­tions.

“We’ll be go­ing back to the Com­mon­wealth with more lever­age now that the State has com­mit­ted the $6.5 mil­lion,” she said.

“I’ve put in a let­ter of sup­port for Ger­ald­ton to get Fed­eral funds.”

Ms Saf­fi­oti said the op­por­tu­nity of ex­pand­ing the air­port for in­ter­na­tional pur­poses had been dis­cussed, and if the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment was keen to par­tic­i­pate then the State would be keen to fa­cil­i­tate it.

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