Benalla misses out on airport funding
06 June 2015
Friday 26 June 2015
Benalla's bid for funding to upgrade the Benalla Airport ahead of the 2017 World Gliding Championships has been rejected by the Andrews Labor Government.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said council made an application for funding under the previous Coalition Government’s $20 million Regional Aviation Fund to facilitate necessary improvements.
Ms Ryan said the application for funding was not submitted in time for it to be assessed by the previous Coalition Government.
“I wrote to the Andrews Labor Government on behalf of Benalla Rural City to ask them to provide funding for the works,” Ms Ryan said.
“The airport upgrade is in doubt because Labor has scrapped the Coalition's Regional Aviation Fund."
In Parliament this week, Ms Ryan said the Andrews Labor Government was neglecting regional Victorians by refusing to invest in vital infrastructure, like the upgrade of Benalla's airport.
“The basis for Benalla Rural City’s funding submission was the airport master plan which identified several airfield improvements vital to the success of the World Gliding Championships,” she said.
“The event will support local jobs and provide an important injection of funds into the north east.
"The upgrade is also needed to support the air ambulance and to attract more charter flights into Benalla which is important for business and investment.
“This coming financial year, just 2.9 per cent of the state’s total infrastructure spend will be spent on projects in rural and regional Victoria.
“Remove major regional cities like Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat from the equation and the figure is even more stark.
“I will continue to push for alternative funding options to see the Benalla Airport Master Plan come to fruition.”