Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton pictured at the Coonamble Aerodrome, which received funding under a previous round of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.
The Australian Government has released the guidelines for Round 9 of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) Program, which enhances the safety and accessibility of aerodromes in remote and very remote areas of Australia.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said this funding will be welcomed news for remote communities in the Parkes electorate.
“Anyone who lives in a remote community understands how important local airstrips are to our way of life, providing critical connectivity to larger regional centres and access to essential services,” Mr Coulton said.
“I encourage eligible owners and operators in the Parkes electorate to familiarise themselves with the RAU Program guidelines ahead of applications opening early next month.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the next round will deliver up to $15 million in grants.
“Functioning airstrips are crucial for remote communities,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“They ensure the delivery of supplies and services, facilitate life-saving emergency flights and connect residents to regional centres.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government is continuing to invest in the infrastructure these communities and their residents need and deserve. This extra $15 million builds on the $70 million we’ve already committed to support 340 remote airstrip upgrade projects.”
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Kevin Hogan said the positive impacts an effective airstrip can have on regional and rural townships are significant and long lasting.
“Previous RAU projects have demonstrated how this program supports local jobs and delivers vast improvements to remote community air services,” Assistant Minister Hogan said.
“Eligible owners or operators of existing aerodromes in remote or very remote areas of Australia can apply for a grant of between $5,000 and $3 million.”
The guidelines are available from 18 January 2022, with applications open from 3 February 2022. Applications will close on 17 March 2022.
The Government recently announced $15 million for the RAU Program as part of its Aviation Recovery Framework, which is setting the Australia’s aviation sector on a course for recovery.
Further details on the program, including Round 9 guidelines, are available on the Business website.