FIFO bids up in air
ADANI has dismissed claims that a $ 5 million Federal Government grant to upgrade pavement at the Rockhampton Airport has placed the town as a front runner to win the major flyin fly- out hub contract.
It comes after the Central Queensland airport flooded twice during the past six years and was left unusable for three weeks in 2011.
Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash announced the funding on Friday as part of Building Better Regions Fund.
The upgrade will provide asphalt resurfacing to the main runway and “surface enrichment” to the taxiways, runway shoulders, and both the military and regular public transport aprons.
Adani was scheduled to announce the contract last month however negotiations are continuing.
Spokesman Ron Watson said Rockhampton’s upgrade wasn’t “related directly” to their FIFO bid.
“Rockhampton for many years has had this problem with their airport,” he said.
Mr Watson said the grant would enhance their bid, in relation to operational abilities, however didn’t make the region a front runner.
“We’re close now ( decision),” he said.
It comes after the Rockhampton Regional Council handed down their 2017- 18 Budget last month, which revealed $ 10 million would be spent on the Airport Pavement Renewal Project.
Mayor Jenny Hill said there was no reason for alarm.
“We have been pushing very hard for the FIFO hub,” she said.
Townsville Airport chief operating officer Kevin Gill said the region’s airport rarely flooded.
“It has remained open in all weather events with the exception of when wind is high,” he said.
Townsville Enterprise chief executive officer Patricia O’Callaghan said the economic development body was not concerned by the funding grant.
“The region has put forward a case that says it’s not just an airport,” she said.
“We have the services administrative centre and we’re basically the best place in the country to live while servicing these mining projects.’’