Councils band together for airport
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.