GOOD POSOTION: Rockhampton Airport's primary runway is over 2,500m long and the secondary runway is over 1,600m long.
GOOD POSOTION: Rockhampton Airport's primary runway is over 2,500m long and the secondary runway is over 1,600m long.

Airport upgrade features in RRC’s $35m wishlist

ROCKHAMPTON joined other Queensland councils in devising a local battleplan to secure critical economic stimulus from the State Government and help their communities through the Covid-19 pandemic.

An ambitious $25 million redevelopment of Rockhampton’s airport sits at the top of Rockhampton Regional Council’s wishlist forming part of the Local Government Association of Queensland’s $608 million battleplan to create more than 14,000 jobs.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Margret Strelow said that the council had 20 shovel-ready projects worth a total of $35 million ready to start in the next three months if funding could be secured.

Concept designs for the Rockhampton Airport masterplan.
Concept designs for the Rockhampton Airport masterplan.

“The centrepiece of our ask is the Rockhampton Airport terminal upgrade which is worth $20 million alone of what we’re asking,” Cr Strelow said.

“This is for the staged delivery of an overarching master plan which would build new security screens (required by law), upgrades to infrastructure and reconfiguring the terminal to improve amenities.

“Our airport has been hit hard by the pandemic but it is vital we keep links to our region open for visitors to experience and workers to do business.”

Other key initiatives under this project include raising the barrage to increase water security and masterplanning the Showgrounds and Victoria Park precinct.

Concept designs for the Rockhampton Airport masterplan.
Concept designs for the Rockhampton Airport masterplan.

Funding is also being sought for trunk infrastructure projects, enabling development infrastructure and tourism offerings as well as a suburban greening project.

These projects will support 176 full-time jobs over the next two years.

Local Government Association of Queensland president Mark Jamieson said that councils were ready to help Queensland meet the economic challenges caused by Covid-19.

Key initiatives to be funded under the battleplan include:

  • Jobs Recovery Package: A $200 million statewide job creation program modelled on the successful Works for Queensland initiative to support more than 8,000 jobs, with $100 million earmarked for the state’s southeast.
  • Green Army: A 3,000-strong workforce focused on protecting and improving the environment across the state for the benefit of critical sectors such as agriculture and tourism.
  • Local Government Apprenticeship and Traineeship Guarantee: Providing 800 new or displaced workers with a guaranteed pathway to gain critical experience and skills.
Concept designs for the Rockhampton Airport masterplan.
Concept designs for the Rockhampton Airport masterplan.

“The battleplan’s programs will provide a critical boost to the construction, tourism, small business and agricultural sectors,” Cr Jamieson said.

“They will provide apprenticeships and traineeships for those looking to enter the workforce for the first time or to retrain. They will create work for local businesses, contractors and labourers.

“They will ensure Queensland communities not only weather the COVID-19 storm but emerge from it stronger than before.”

Mayor Jamieson welcomed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s public commitment to working with the Association and its member councils to identify shovel-ready projects across the state to aid the economic recovery.

He also reiterated his thanks to Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington for her support for the LGAQ’s $608 million Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities.