The redevelopment of Townsville Airport is ready for take off, with financial close reached on a $50 million Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan application and first drawdown of funds expected to happen before the end of the year.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said reaching financial close heralded an exciting new phase for North Queensland, and Townsville in particular.
“Townsville is Australia’s 11th busiest airport, an economic enabler for North Queensland and one of the great gateways to Northern Australia,” Minister Canavan said.
“The airport already supports more than 3,000 jobs and contributes $420 million to the economy, supporting key industries in the region including resources, tourism, agriculture and education.
“Reaching financial close means the upgrade project can get started ASAP, with more than more than 200 construction jobs and 50 operational jobs expected to be created in the region.”
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said upgrade works would include refurbishment of the terminal, construction of a new terminal roof, increased lounge capacity and new water fire and waste facilities.
“Our airport is a critically important piece of infrastructure to growing our tourism sector, supporting business activity and boosting the entire region’s economy. Bigger and better passenger facilities means more people travelling to North Queensland, more money being spent with local businesses and more exposure of our region to the rest of the world,” Mr Thompson said.
“The last big terminal upgrade was back in 2003. In the past 16 years or so, the airport’s passenger movements have grown by more than 80 per cent. We need to accommodate that growth, facilitate even more passenger movements and take full advantage of the benefits that can bring the city and wider region.
“NAIF has copped nothing but whingeing and criticism from Labor, but I can say it has created some fantastic opportunities for our community, including this $50 million loan, the investment of up to $20 million in the Cowboys’ Community, Training and High Performance Centre and the funding of up to $98 million for JCU’s Technology Innovation Complex.
These projects will create new jobs right now and for years to come.”
Nationally, NAIF has made around $1.93 billion in investment decisions and conditional approvals across 17 projects. These projects are forecast to create 4,600 jobs, with total public benefit estimated at $4.6 billion.