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Overdue airport deals lead to cost blow-out

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Senator Grant Tambling Shadow Minister for Regional Development, External Territories and Northern Australia

Media Release


The Federal Aviation Minister, Senator Bob Collins, has been called on to reveal the cost of delays in opening the Northern Territory's two new airport terminals.

Northern Territory Senator Grant Tambling made the call today following news that the Federal Airports Corporation had reached long-awaited agreement with the two major airlines over Darwin and Alice Springs terminals.

"The Darwin terminal is now expected to open in December, two months behind schedule, while the Alice Springs terminal is expected to open in mid-November, or three months behind schedule.

"The Minister needs to reveal the cost blow-out associated with FAC delays in finalising leases with the airlines. These delays have also caused inconvenience to the public, travellers and business.

"Ironically, Senator Collins was reluctant to intervene in this long-running dispute, on behalf of his Northern Territory constituents. His job as Federal Aviation Minister took precedence."

Senator Tambling said people still had a right to be cynical about the proposed opening dates, given that the Alice Springs terminal was originally due to open in mid-August and the Darwin terminal on October 1.

"The terminals must open this year.

"I challenge Senator Collins and the airlines to promote the opening of the terminals and boost tourism by offering special fare concessions and promotional packages during the December- January period."

ENDS Contact: Senator Grant Tambling 81 3567 Tiz Zeroni 81 3567