The expansion of the Parkes Regional Airport Business Park will become a reality thanks to a $1.56 million investment from Round 3 of the National Stronger Regions Fund. Minister for Regional Development, Fiona Nash, said in Parkes last week the project would bring new jobs and business investment to the region.
“I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and quality regional airports are a big part of that,” she said. Small Business Minister and Riverina MP, Michael McCormack, said the project would improve access to health services and leisure travel.
“It will also generate new business activity within the local aviation sector, creating additional income and employment opportunities. The project includes a new helipad and fuelling/maintenance facility to support future disaster response operations, including medical emergencies.”
Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM, said the contribution by the Federal Government would ensure this important piece of infrastructure continues to deliver economic and social benefits to the entire region. “This next stage of the redevelopment project will encourage economic development, stimulate regional industry, enable businesses and industries to operate more efficiently and sustainably, and provide greater prosperity and opportunities for the region”, the Mayor said.
According to Chairman of the Parkes Airport Committee, Councillor Alan Ward, stage 2 of construction consists of an extension of the airport apron and taxiway, developing a new hangar precinct and planning infrastructure for a helipad complex. “Construction activities are expected to generate 42 full time jobs and inject $5.3 million into the region’s catchment,” Cr Ward said.
Two further projects in the Riverina received funding from the National Stronger Regions Fund with support going to the Central West Livestock Exchange in Forbes and a multipurpose community facility in Wagga Wagga.