The second stage of the multi-million dollar Mareeba Airport upgrade has been officially opened today which will see more aviation jobs, training opportunities and a wide range of economic benefits delivered to the Far North.
Representing the Premier, Member for Cook Cynthia Lui joined Mareeba Shire Mayor Tom Gilmore and other dignitaries at the opening.
“This $23 million project is an investment in Far North Queensland’s regional aviation capabilities and an investment in Mareeba’s future,” Ms Lui said.
“More than 70 construction jobs have been supported across the two stages, but that’s just the start.
“The upgraded airport will create economic flow into Mareeba, the Shire and Tablelands, and support at least 200 jobs as a result.
“I’m proud of the Palaszczuk Government’s $13 million contribution to this upgrade and I congratulate Mareeba Mayor Tom Gilmore, the Mareeba Shire Council and local contractor FGF Developments for delivering it.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the upgrade was one of the most significant chapters in the Far North’s aviation history.
“The extended runway, additional taxiways and airfield lighting and an increased capacity to cater for larger aircraft have transformed the airport into a key regional aviation hub, where avionics and aircraft maintenance capabilities would be expanded,” the Premier said.
“It will provide an alternative to Cairns Airport for activities like pilot training, maintenance and some general aviation, bringing significant economic benefits to the region.”
Stage 1 was opened in March this year which involved the construction of a new commercial precinct with 52 fully-serviced lots suitable for aviation-related businesses, along with upgrades to surrounding roads, a new airport water main and renewal of airport fencing.
Mareeba Shire Mayor Tom Gilmore said the airport started as a Second World War airstrip, and while it had seen improvements over the years, its full potential could not have been reached without significant assistance to rejuvenate and expand it.
“This is a significant moment for Mareeba Shire and the Far North Queensland region. The upgrade we see now completed, has only been made possible through assistance from the Queensland and Australian governments,” Mayor Gilmore said.
“On behalf of the community, I offer my deepest appreciation to both levels of government for making this development come to fruition.
“This facility provides the opportunity for the general aviation maintenance and flight training facilities to be further developed over time which will provide economic growth and employment of youth in this exciting industry.
“I anticipate that over the next decade, this facility will see the employment of hundreds of people involved in high-level aviation.”
The Palaszczuk Government provided $13 million towards the two-stage transformation. The project was jointly funded by the Australian Government.