Air­port ex­pan­sion to boost growth

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

EX­PRES­SIONS of in­ter­est are now open for an ex­pan­sion to the Whit­sun­day Coast Air­port.

Whit­sun­day Re­gional Council Mayor Andrew Will­cox said with the air­port on track to hit 500,000 pas­sen­gers per an­num next year it was im­por­tant the ter­mi­nal could cater for the rapid growth.

“This huge in­crease in pas­sen­ger num­bers makes Whit­sun­day Coast Air­port one of the fastest-grow­ing re­gional air­ports in Aus­tralia,” he said.

“Project ar­chi­tects STEA As­tute have held stake­holder work­shops and have a de­tailed ex­panded ter­mi­nal con­cept de­sign.”

Mayor Andrew Will­cox thanked the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment for their sup­port in fund­ing the $15 mil­lion project.

The con­cept ter­mi­nal ex­pan­sion will in­clude dou­bling the size of the de­par­ture lounge and the bag­gage claim and ar­rivals ar­eas, pro­vi­sion of an ad­di­tional de­par­ture gate and re­con­fig­ured and ex­panded se­cu­rity screen­ing area to al­low for a fu­ture dou­ble lane of se­cu­rity screen­ing. WITH the Adani Carmichael mine de­vel­op­ing as a key State Gov­ern­ment elec­tion is­sue, the con­ser­va­tion move­ment’s op­po­si­tion changed gear in Air­lie Beach on the week­end.

From block­ing roads to the Ab­bot Point coal ter­mi­nal north of Bowen and the na­tional day of ac­tion against Adani last month, the mar­kets hosted an in­ter­na­tion­ally renown per­for­mance artist.

Benny Zable was one of the pioneers of the al­ter­na­tive lifestyle cul­ture and was at the birth of the move­ment when the Aquarius Fes­ti­val was staged in Nim­bin in North­ern NSW in 1973.

Mr Zable turned heads at he mar­kets with his art ac­tivism in sup­port of a pres­ence from Reef Ac­tion and the Greens.

“We are at a crit­i­cal time in his­tory, the ice caps are melt­ing, the sea is be­com­ing more toxic, we have had Fukushima and oil spills,” he said.

“We are de­stroy­ing what is keep­ing us alive.

“I am here be­cause Adani, know­ing the sit­u­a­tion ... is go­ing ahead with build­ing the big­gest coal min­ing project in the world."

Reef Ac­tion Whit­sun­day spokes­woman Ali­son Ma­son was also at the Air­lie Beach mar­kets and said she got a sense vot­ers who were op­posed to the pro­posed Adani mine knew to vote Greens and pref­er­ence the ALP sec­ond to stop the Carmichael mine.

Ms Ma­son said Pre­mier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s pledge to veto a $1 bil­lion Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment loan to Adani was in re­sponse to a groundswell of sup­port for the anti-mine move­ment.

“She is after votes, she thought there was votes in sup­port­ing Adani and now she re­alises there isn’t,” Ms Ma­son said.

Mr Zable asked what kind of suf­fer­ing the peo­ple of Queens­land and Aus­tralia would be forced to en­dure when the Great Bar­rier Reef dies and the Great Arte­sian Basin dries up.

"I have been in New York at­tend­ing con­fer­ences in the United Na­tions where Fa­bien Cousteau, the grand­son of the un­der­wa­ter ex­plorer Jac­ques Cousteau came to ex­plain why we are at a dan­ger­ous tip­ping point at this mo­ment in time," he said.

“The reefs are the rain forests of the sea, the whole ecosys­tem un­der the sea, if it dies we are gone.

“The sea is crit­i­cal to our sur­vival.

“We are here to stop Adani and stop the rail­way. Once the rail­way is up then it’s go­ing to be very hard to stop it. This is the crit­i­cal time.”

The Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment this week said it had played no role to date in the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fa­cil­ity loan as­sess­ment process for Adani and will play no role in the fu­ture.

PHOTO: PETER CARRUTHERS

ANTI COAL: Anti-Adani pro­tes­tor Benny Zane at the Air­lie Beach fore­shore mar­kets on Satur­day.

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