The Shire of Leonora is to receive a further grant of $185,000 for its airport extensions which were officially opened today by Local Government Minister Paul Omodei.
Mr Omodei announced that Transport Minister Murray Criddle had approved the grant from the Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS) 2000-01 allocations.
The Coalition Government had contributed some $12 million to major improvements to 50 regional airports since it introduced RADS in 1994.
Leonora had received $150,000 for its extensions during the 1999-00 financial year.
Mr Omodei said the Government was pleased to have been able to assist the Leonora Shire which had made the major contribution to the $1.6 million project from its own resources.
He congratulated the shire on its faith in its community and its determination to provide the infrastructure necessary to secure its future.
“The shire has been committed to the airport since it built it back in 1950,” Mr Omodei said.
“When I came here in September 1997 to officially open the new terminal - built at a cost of $242,000 - the shire was already planning to extend the airstrip.
“It has now lengthened the runway by 300m to 2018m and sealed all of the runway, taxiway and extended apron.
“It has also installed runway lights and landing equipment.
“The immediate benefit is that larger planes like the Fokker 50 can now use the Leonora airport with capacity loads in all weather, and even bigger planes may soon fly this route.
“This gives local industry and the community greater efficiency in the movement of cargo and passengers and will enhance Leonora’s role in the development of the Northern Goldfields.
“The shire council deserves congratulations for its leadership and commitment to the town’s future.”
Media contact Hugh Ryan 9213 6700