Coun­cils band to­gether for air­port

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Times | News - Ce­cilia Allen

SOUTH West coun­cils have banded to­gether with com­mit­ments of money to­wards at­tract­ing a per­ma­nent air­line to Bus­sel­ton air­port.

The money will go to­wards a mar­ket­ing fund to in­crease the pro­file of the South West and ex­pand op­por­tu­ni­ties for tourism and tourism-re­lated in­dus­tries as as fu­ture air­freight ser­vices.

Once the up­grade of the ex­ist­ing air­port fa­cil­i­ties is com­plete, it will be ca­pa­ble of han­dling direct in­ter­state and in­ter­na­tional flights to des­ti­na­tions in­clud­ing Mel­bourne, Sydney, Den­pasar and Sin­ga­pore.

Stake­hold­ers in­clude the Mar­garet River Bus­sel­ton Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion, Aus­tralia’s South West, the Bun­bury City Coun­cil and shires of Har­vey, Dar­danup, Man­jimup, Capel, Col­lie and Nan­nup.

Man­jimup Shire Coun­cil will com­mit $2000 for five years and shire pres­i­dent Paul Omodei said he be­lieved it was one of the most im­por­tant projects for the area in the past decade.

“Not only will it feed tourist traf­fic through the area, it will pro­vide an out­let to ex­port com­modi­ties such as fresh fruit and veg­etawell bles,” he said. Nan­nup Shire Coun­cil will con­trib­ute $2000 to the fund and shire pres­i­dent Tony Dean said the air­port would be a gamechanger pro­vid­ing a gate­way to other parts of the re­gion, in­clud­ing Nan­nup.

“We al­ready see the ben­e­fits with work­ers us­ing it for fly-in, fly­out work,” he said.

“Nan­nup will reap the ben­e­fits... I’m pleased it didn’t get scrapped from the State Bud­get.”

South­ern Forests Food Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Be­van Eatts said the air­port was a great step for­ward for the re­gion which would in­crease tourism in the area and had the po­ten­tial in the long term to pro­vide freight op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“If we want to get se­ri­ous about ex­port­ing, we do need to ad­dress the road in­fra­struc­ture,” he said.

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