Mixed reaction to airport announcement

MAYOR OF WHITSUNDAY, MIKE BRUNKER -

Whitsunday Mayor Mike Brunker described the Premier's announcement on Sunday as “fantastic” and said common sense had prevailed.

He said the $4 million would go towards a “spruce-up” of the airport.

“Realistically, we're not going to get an international airport for $4 million,” he said. Mr Brunker also said Council had already spent $1 million on new x-ray bag screening equipment. He said the premier's announcement was part of a short term solution and his preference in the long term would be to see a major operator in there. “In the meantime, we'll just keep doing what we're doing and improving the service,” he said.

SPOKESPERSON FOR SAVE OUR FORESHORE, SUZETTE PELT:

Spokesperson for Save Our Foreshore, Suzette Pelt, said it was time for everyone to take a reality check and ask what was really going on here. “It's no surprise that in a time of high uncertainty, tenderers pulled out,” she said.

“The Premier's announcement did nothing to allay this uncertainty, only prolong it.

“We back the community's position for the airport to stay where it is and be redeveloped appropriately.

“Most travel is centred around the core Whitsunday area and its population and tourism expansion is still where the future lies, so why would you disadvantage this for vested interests to the north and south?

“Our feedback is that most people regard the need for permanent international access unnecessary, particularly as one-off international charter flights are possible to land even now,” she said.

CEO OF TOURISM WHITSUNDAYS, PETER O'REILLY -

Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Whitsundays, Peter O'Reilly, said this week that the community had demonstrated its passion for the Whitsunday Coast Airport at Proserpine and that there was a lot of value in the government recognising that passion.

He said the tourism industry had suffered greatly after years of uncertainty. Mr O'Reilly said he would like to know what the LNP would do about the airport if they were elected.

“This is a make or break situation for this electorate,” he said.


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