Council starts airport discussions
WHITSUNDAY Regional Council has started discussions with the Queensland Government about designating the Whitsunday Coast Airport as a Priority Development Area (PDA).
Mayor Jennifer Whitney said a PDA for the area around the airport would maximise the economic and development opportunities of this key precinct.
She said it would also make any potential future expansion of the terminal or runway much easier and would provide potential for the airport to be upgraded to a standard that would allow international flights.
"A PDA would also set aside a large parcel of land for industrial use, addressing the shortage of industrial land which currently exists in Proserpine and Cannonvale," she said.
"It is envisaged the industrial land could be used for general aviation and hangar space and warehouses for distribution of horticulture and aquaculture industries."
Cr Whitney said Council would write to the Deputy Premier and Minister for Economic Development Jeff Seeney to request an interim land use plan for 12 months.
If granted, she said Council would conduct extensive consultation with local businesses, community groups, lease holders, agricultural enterprises and any interested members of the community.
"We want to ensure the designation of this PDA will benefit the whole Whitsunday region and we want to ensure that over the next 12 months any concerns people in the community may have are addressed," she said
Cr Whitney said with last month's approvals of the Abbot Point Port expansion and Shute Harbour Marina development, "a PDA for the airport would be the icing on the cake for the Whitsunday region and a wonderful way to start 2014".