Airport location makes sense
Mr Kerr’s latest The Crow (Times, Aug 2) about the Busselton Margaret River Airport (BMRA) expansion cannot pass without address.
The City of Busselton makes no apology for being a proactive Local Government. We are committed to identifying growth opportunities and delivering projects that benefit the people of the South West.
Mr Kerr is entitled to his opinion on the project however, in the interests of balanced reporting, I am happy to provide some clarity.
Airlines are not “reluctant” to commit to the BMRA due to its location. In fact, negotiations with airline providers, while confidential, are progressing. The facility’s location in the heart of the State’s most frequently visited regional tourist destination has been identified by several airlines as a key drawcard. Other benefits are the uncongested air-space, excellent airside infrastructure (capable of accommodating large passenger jets), significant population growth projections and plans for future high-speed rail connectivity between Busselton and Perth.
BMRA is already the State’s second largest FIFO airport servicing workers from across the South West and beyond. It’s ideally positioned to provide freight opportunities for local providers in the acclaimed South West food bowl. The Federal Government, whose support for the airport expansion has been unswerving, has recently provided additional funding of $1.5 million to support development of a freight hub within the BRMA precinct – the first in the South West.
Mr Kerr’s opinion that the facility would be better situated between Bunbury and Perth makes little sense to the City of Busselton or the 12 other Local Governments in the South West including the City of Bunbury. These Local Governments, which have a combined catchment of 170,000 residents, have all backed the BMRA development. Clearly this central location also makes sense to the State and Federal governments who, on the back of a very robust business case, have funded the project to the tune of $65 million.
Mr Kerr’s opinion that the airport should be built by the Chinese holds little favour. We’re exceptionally proud to be delivering this significant community asset. The BMRA is being domestically funded and domestically built. Once complete it will be owned and managed by Australians - we make no apology for that either.
Mayor Grant Henley, City of Busselton