The Wilcannia community will benefit from better air services thanks to funding through the Australian Government’s latest round of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the upgrade of the Wilcannia Airstrip will help the remote community maintain access to essential goods and services.
“Air services are vital to rural and remote communities, and I’m thrilled that the Federal Government is backing local councils to make sure our airstrips are up to scratch,” Mr Coulton said.
“I’m pleased that Central Darling Shire Council has been successful in receiving $150,000 to rejuvenate the Wilcannia Airstrip runway, taxiways, thresholds and apron to a satisfactory and safe condition.
“The necessary upgrade will mean that Wilcannia residents will have improved connectivity to regional centres and increased access to essential services.
“I am looking forward to working with the community to ensure we deliver the essential airstrip works they need.”
Central Darling Shire Council General Manager Greg Hill said the upgrade will ensure the airstrip is suitable for vital medical retrieval and service provision via the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
“Wilcannia is two hours from its nearest big centre of Broken Hill, so it’s essential that the community has a working airstrip, particularly for access to essential and life-saving medical services,” Mr Hill said.
“We’re pleased to receive this funding to resurface the existing airstrip and thank the Federal Government for its support.”
Deputy Prime Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $8 million in funding for 46 projects will improve air access and enhance the safety of remote aerodromes across Australia.
“Many remote communities rely on airstrips for their delivery of food, medical supplies, mail and other essential goods and services,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“It is imperative these airstrips are repaired, resealed and are up to standard so that users can land safely to provide the critical deliveries and air transport connections for rural communities.
“Operations that directly benefit from these upgrades include the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Angel Flight and bushfire fighting services.”
The Australian Government has approved $70 million worth of funding for a total of 343 remote airstrip upgrade projects since 2013.
For a full list of successful projects and more information on the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program, visit infrastructure.gov.au/regionalaviation.