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Kangaroo Island airport commitment welcomed
8 December 2015
The State Government has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to match funding for the much-needed $18 million upgrade of the Kangaroo Island airport.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said after months of lobbying, it was pleasing to see the Commonwealth commit to partnering with the State Government to deliver the project.
“The Premier Jay Weatherill identified the upgrade as a high priority economic infrastructure project in his January 2014 Our Jobs Plan,” Mr Mullighan said.
“It was clear that upgrading the airport in Kingscote would further unlock the state’s tourism potential by allowing larger planes of up to 100 seats to use the airport.
“In October the State Government committed $9 million to fund half of the project and last month I confirmed that funding commitment in Parliament.
“This project involves extending the runway by almost 700 metres and strengthening it to cater for larger passenger planes, as well as upgrading the terminal. It will support about 25 jobs during construction.”
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the expansion was forecast to generate almost $30 million dollars for the local economy in the four years after it opens in 2017, supporting almost 200 ongoing local jobs.
“As a world-renowned destination Kangaroo Island is one of the treasures of the South Australian tourism industry and this upgrade will further cement its place as a must-see destination,” Mr Bignell said.
“This funding announcement comes at a time when more than $171 million of projects are planned or in the process of receiving State Government approval.
“These projects include a 200-room resort and marina in American River and a 70-room accommodation facility at the proposed golf course.”
The newly appointed Kangaroo Island Commissioner Wendy Campana said it was a tremendous outcome for the local community and businesses.
“This upgrade will not only boost tourism, it will also enable fresh seafood, eggs and other local KI produce to go directly to Sydney and Melbourne,” she said.
“These projects will give confidence to a range of businesses to build their capacity to service tourists and the added population created by this economic boom.