• Wentworth in NSW was a beneficiary of Round 6 of the Remote Airstrips Upgrade Program. (Sonya Boadle)
    Wentworth in NSW was a beneficiary of Round 6 of the Remote Airstrips Upgrade Program. (Sonya Boadle)

Applications for the latest round of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program (RAUP) will open today, the Federal Government announced late last week.

The 2018–19 Federal Budget allocated $28.3 million over four years to fund works designed to improve the safety and capacity of remote airstrips.

RAUP provides federal government funding for airfields that are located in, or service, areas of Australia classified as Remote or Very Remote by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Since the current government came to power in 2013, $40 million has spent on 209 programs, although the previous government also allocated funds for remote airports under a different scheme.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said airstrips in remote areas were crucial pieces of community infrastructure.

“For many communities, air services are essential for providing mail, supplies, transport and medical services,” McCormack said.

“Improving the safety and capacity of airstrips will provide major benefits to the thousands of Australians who would otherwise have to rely on much slower and less reliable road links."

Malcolm White, Acting Federation Executive of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, said the RAUP would provide practical improvements to airstrips giving people living in remote Australia a more reliable service.

“The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program funds improvements such as new lighting, navigation systems, runway sealing and fencing,” Mr White said.

“Kangaroos, emus and other animals can cause tremendous damage when airstrips are unfenced. This program ensures airstrips are maintained and safe for staff and passengers.”

Funding approved under Round 6 included:

  • $1.8 million for the reconstruction of Flinders Island aerodrome in Tasmania
  • $1.37 million for resealing and line marking at Yuendumu, Willowra, Finke and Haasts Bluff
  • $778,876 for resealing the runway, taxiway and apron, solar powered lighting and drainage works at Oak Valley
  • $750,000 for a fencing upgrade at Palm Island
  • $700,000 for fencing, lighting and apron works at Tennant Creek
  • $19,875 for fencing at Wentworth
  • $15,000 for PAL at Windorah

Applications for Round Seven of the RAUP close on 12 November 2019. More information including criteria is on the Federal Government's business website.

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