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Crunch time for remote aerodrome


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(Pictured: Robbie Katter MP, CEO Frank Mills and Mayor Brad Wilson advocating for eight months for state / federal support.)
GOVERNMENT must push through the red tape to ensure an isolated Gulf community’s airport is repaired before the wet season.
Robbie Katter State Member for Mount Isa, is calling on the State Government to commit to funding the repairs at Mornington Island Airport.
Mr Katter said he was pleased to hear Mornington Shire Council representatives received a positive response from the Deputy Premier last week regarding their funding plea, but reiterated the urgency to fix the problem.
“The works must be carried out before the wet season – otherwise there will be serious complications with the repair work,” he said.
“The Government is well aware of the urgency of this matter and must ensure there is a fast-tracked response.”
“As we get closer to the wet season, the window of opportunity is closing – time is of the essence to secure funding and award tenders for the repairs.”
“I’m pleased that Council has received a positive response but they need a firm commitment now – these works need to be completed by October.”
With access to the mainland only available via air access, Mr Katter said a long-term view of the airport’s future was vital.
“This is an important piece of infrastructure that needs more than a ‘quick fix’,” he said.
“It needs appropriate funding to ensure we don’t encounter similar problems in the near future.”
“The airport is the only mode of transport for residents and visitors wanting to get on and off the remote island.”
“It bring in everything from teachers, nurses, medical supplies and mail – it is the lifeblood of the community.”
The community has been inconvenienced through air travel for too long since damage was discovered on the runway on December 16 last year, Mr Katter said.
“Issues with air access have caused significant strain, through inconvenience and emotional and financial hardship, on residents and visitors of Mornington Island,” he said.
“The community of Mornington Island cannot afford for the process to secure funding to be similarly drawn out on this occasion.”
“A long-term solution is required to restore the runway and serve the community for decades to come.”
Mr Katter recently wrote to the Deputy Premier, Transport Minister and Treasurer regarding the issue of funding for airport repairs.
Mr Katter has also held several meeting with the Transport Minister and asked several questions in Parliament recently around the issue of air access to Mornington Island.

(Pictured: Deputy Premier of Queensland Jackie Trad met with Mornington Shire Council last week in Brisbane.)