Facilities at the Griffith Airport Terminal in NSW will be upgraded with federal government funding of $1.9 million dollars towards the project, worth $2.4 million. Federal Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean today announced that funding of $1.9 million would be provided to the Griffith City Council as part of the first round of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), worth almost $1 billion.
“Local wineries, poultry producers, government services, agricultural production, consultancies, stainless steel and medical industries in the Western Riverina rely on the Griffith airport to carry out their operations but also to expand market share and grow their products,” Mr Crean said.
Senator Ursula Stephens said this was a great project that will not only benefit the local community, but the surrounding regional areas as well. “With projections that passenger numbers will reach 120,000 per annum by 2025 and the increasing pressure on the 40 year old terminal and the main apron, the upgrade will see the terminal space doubled to cope with the influx over the next 30 years. Annual passenger figures for the combined Sydney and Melbourne services are anticipated to reach over 70,000 this financial year alone. The upgraded terminal and increased capacity of the main apron will ensure effective delivery of regular passenger services now and into the future for the Griffith, Carrathool, Murrumbidgee, Leeton and Narrandera Local Government Areas. The upgrade is expected to be completed in June 2012 and will also see flow-on benefits within the wider community.
“Griffith City Council was advised this morning of their success in obtaining RDAF funding for their project. The manager of the Griffith airport, Mr Duncan McWhirter was ecstatic when told the full amount of $1.9million requested in their application was approved by the independent panel.” Senator Stephens said.
The expansion of the Griffith Airport Terminal includes green initiatives that will help reduce the environmental footprint of the terminal. The project is endorsed by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Riverina. The RDAF program supports the infrastructure needs and economic growth of Australia’s regions. It is designed to leverage state, commonwealth, local government, private and not-for-profit investments. In Round One, $150 million in grant funding has been provided to 35 projects around Australia leveraging a total of around $418 million in project costs.
RDA committees played a major role in working with local communities to identify projects that were consistent with their regional plans. The Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel, Mr Christian Zahra, will assist with a review of RDAF Round One and provide recommendations to the Minister to consider implementing for Round Two and subsequent rounds of the program. This review will consider ways in which the impact of the program might be strengthened and the application process streamlined.
Round Two of the RDAF program will be valued at $150 million, with applications to open in November this year.
A full list of the successful projects is available at: www.regional.gov.au