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Rockhampton receives funding for airport recovery

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Rockhampton receives funding for airport recovery 9 June 2011 DAFF11/176LJ

Joint media release Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry The Hon. Anna Bligh MP, Premier of Queensland

Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery, Joe Ludwig and Premier Anna Bligh, today announced that Rockhampton Regional Council will receive $900,000 for the emergency repairs undertaken to the runway at Rockhampton Airport.

The Rockhampton airport was inundated by flood waters and was closed and remained closed for nearly three weeks. The repair work undertaken included main runway and runway shoulder repairs, new fencing, new line markings and repairs to the flood levee bank.

“Rockhampton, one of Queensland’s major mining and agriculture hubs, and home to 75,000 people was cut off completely during the floods,” Senator Ludwig said.

“This new exceptional circumstances funding supports the Rockhampton Regional Council to keep essential supply and transport infrastructure operating.”

Ms Bligh said the Australian and Queensland governments were splitting the cost of the runway repairs.

“The flooding was so severe that it not only created potholes and destroyed the runway’s asphalt, but also did damage to security barriers and a vital levee bank.

“As the gateway to the region’s expansive industries, including the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange, Rockhampton Airport sees over 750,000 passengers each year.

“It’s important to note that the airport serves more than just the industries in and around Rockhampton. It also serves as a base to the Royal Flying Doctor Services, a crucial link in Queensland’s rural health system.”

Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten said the Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Brad Carter made personal representations to him and the Premier about the damage.

“Without this assistance from the Federal and State Governments the Council would have had to find the funds for these critical repairs.

“I’m glad to have been able to assist in this matter. It means the Council doesn’t have to spend the $900,000 which is a win for ratepayers,” Mr Schwarten said.

Federal member for Capricornia, Kirsten Livermore said the announcement showed the Gillard Government is working with local communities to contribute to the repair costs for this year’s floods.

“The Rockhampton airport is a vital piece of infrastructure for the region, accessed by thousands of workers, tourists and business people each year,” Ms Livermore said.

“This funding guarantees the ongoing viability of the Rockhampton airport and ensures investment, production and business continues in the region”.

Senator Ludwig said the Commonwealth Government was committed to helping towns like Rockhampton recover following the summer’s floods and Cyclone Yasi.

“Over $1.3 million in NDRRA grants have already been paid to over 218 small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations in Rockhampton,” he said.

“And the support doesn’t stop in Rockhampton. Over $822 million in Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments have been made to over 713,000 individuals and families following summer’s natural disasters.“We’re giving people the tools they need to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.”