Work to finally start on airport

WORK is expected to start on the upgrade of Whitsunday Coast Airport by the end of the month and is expected to be completed by mid next year.

Nine tenders were received for the work.

TF Woollam & Son Pty Ltd won the bid to upgrade and refurbish the Whitsunday Coast Airport terminal.

The company built the Whitsunday Police Station in Cannonvale in 2009 and also worked on the renovations to Whitsunday Shopping Centre in the same year.

State Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said this week that this was a major step towards delivering a modern airport with improved facilities, which would not only benefit locals but help to attract many more tourists to the Whitsunday region.

He said construction would start shortly and would be staged to minimise disruption to flights and the terminal's operations.

The announcement that the work is about to start has been welcomed by many local businesses and by Tourism Whitsundays (TW).

TW chief executive officer Peter O'Reilly said that despite the project being delayed from its original schedule, TW was very pleased it was moving forward.

“A welcoming, modern and functional arrival and departure point for the Whitsunday Coast is important for the enjoyment of our tourists and one which I am sure will leave them a fond memory of travel to the Whitsundays,” he said.

Member for Whitsunday Jan Jarratt said the tender was awarded after ongoing negotiations between Whitsunday Regional Council and Qantas on existing leasing arrangements were resolved.

Ms Jarratt said the project would improve airport efficiencies and rejuvenate the facility.

“Just last week in Parliament I expressed my constituents' frustration at the prolonged discussions between Whitsunday Regional Council and Qantas so I'm pleased this had been addressed,” Ms Jarratt said.

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