Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter and Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro met with Upper Hunter Shire Council Mayor Wayne Bedggood and General Manager Steve McDonald on the tarmac at Scone Regional Airport today to announce the Scone Airport Upgrade.
Plans to expand Scone Regional Airport are taking off with aerodrome upgrades which will help boost visitation and grow local business thanks to $6.5 million in funding from the NSW Government’s Drought Stimulus Package.
The NSW Government announced the Drought Stimulus Package as part of the 2019-20 NSW Budget to fast-track significant infrastructure projects to mitigate the economic impact of the current drought.
Mr Barilaro said funding from the $170 million Drought Stimulus Package will help to bring to life the 20-year masterplan for Scone Regional Airport and allow reconstruction of the runway, construction of new taxiways, expansion of the existing tarmac, installation of aeronautical lighting and an onsite car park for visitors.
Scone Airport is vital to the Hunter and hosts around 4,600 landings a year from private charters, pilot training schools, local equine, mining and farming industry flights and emergency services – but its facilities simply aren’t keeping up,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We know how important connectivity is for people living regionally and these improvements will allow the airport to continue to operate while jobs are generated through the expansion of commercial and recreational aviation-related services.”
The upgrades will complement the Scone Aviation Visitor Attraction project that received $6.25 million from the NSW Government’s Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund to attract tourists to the area and support local businesses.
“The best news is that the aerodrome infrastructure project is ready to go now with construction to generate immediate economic activity for the Hunter – an area we know is doing it tough due to drought.”
Mr Johnsen said “Scone Regional Airport is a key regional asset and the aerodrome upgrades are crucial to the region’s development.”
“I am delighted to confirm this funding which will give our local tradies, construction workers and contractors work now while ensuring long term benefits for a range of industries and businesses,” Mr Johnsen said.
“The NSW Government is taking action and providing businesses with the infrastructure they need now to succeed, allowing them to focus on expanding their operations and creating new jobs.
“I congratulate the Upper Hunter Shire Council on their commitment to this important project for the Hunter region,” Mr. Johnsen said
Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Wayne Bedggood said the NSW Government funding will be met with a Council contribution of $9 million and the investment will immediately stimulate the economy, with the total project costing around $15.5 million.
“This project will provide work for years for local construction workers and suppliers across the region, who will in turn spend their wages in local shops and invest earnings in their own businesses, which is great news for the local economy”, Mayor Bedggood said.
“I thank the NSW Government for their significant financial support for Scone, the airport master plan and this important project which will help support our community through the current drought.”
For further information about the NSW Government’s Drought Stimulus Package, go to www.nsw.gov.au/droughtstimuluspackage.