The Brumby Government is supporting a major upgrade of Warrnambool Airport with a $492,000 grant announced today by the Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney.
Ms Tierney said the upgrade would position Victoria’s fastest growing regional city for future growth by providing the infrastructure to underpin the airport’s development and enabling the operation of Air Ambulance Victoria’s new 24-hour emergency ambulance helicopter base from July.
“The base will be home to a new Bell 412 EP helicopter, pilots and crew for critical all-hours search and rescue operation across Victoria’s south-west,” Ms Tierney said.
“This project – including connecting three-phase power, enlarging the aircraft apron and enhancing telecommunications – will help ensure the base is properly equipped and operationally ready.”
Ms Tierney said Warrnambool Airport was a key gateway to Warrnambool and the broader Great South Coast region.
“The airport handles about 15,000 aircraft movements per year,” Ms Tierney said.
“This project will improve the existing infrastructure and services for businesses already located at the airport, enabling them to expand and capture growth opportunities.
“The project will also help the Warrnambool City Council attract further aviation business and complementary non-aviation businesses to the site.
“And Warrnambool’s growth as the regional centre of the Great South Coast will provide major opportunities for increases in air travel, especially with new investment projects worth more than $8 billion planned for the Great South Coast region.
“These major industrial projects – mainly related to renewable energy – are expected to attract at least 5400 construction jobs and 1200 permanent jobs in the region over the next three to five years.”
Ms Tierney said the Victorian Government funding for the $592,000 project would be provided to Warrnambool City Council from Regional Development Victoria’s Regional Aviation Fund.
“The Regional Aviation Fund is helping upgrade regional airports across Victoria to generate economic and social benefits,” Ms Tierney said.
“In recognising the significant economic and social role airports play in regional and rural communities across Victoria, the Government announced a further $20 million for regional airport upgrades as part of the Victorian Transport Plan.
“The Regional Aviation Fund is part of the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund, which has been very successful in leveraging investment to deliver much needed infrastructure projects across Victoria.
“To date, the RIDF has provided $462 million to fund 251 projects worth more than $1.31 billion across provincial Victoria.”