The Liberal and Nationals Government has committed $4.5 million toward a major expansion of Bendigo Airport, paving the way for more flights in and out of the region and creating new jobs and economic opportunities.
Bendigo is a major regional hub and upgrades to the local airport are required to meet growing demand for air services.
The Government’s funding will support the expansion of the existing airport terminal, including the addition of new departure and waiting lounges, expanded car parking facilities, a security screening area, a baggage claim, an expanded café and restroom facilities.
The project will spark almost $23 million in local economic activity and support 49 jobs during the construction period alone, boosting Bendigo’s recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once complete, the airport’s expanded operations will support a further 19 new jobs.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the airport’s expanded operations would facilitate greater economic activity in the region.
“Bendigo Airport is a vital connection for so many travellers, helping locals in and around Bendigo reach their destination of choice but also facilitating the arrival of visitors to the area,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen greater numbers of Australians holidaying in our regions. These upgrades to Bendigo Airport will facilitate more flights to and from the city, providing a boost for local tourism operators, supporting jobs and driving increased economic activity.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government will continue to deliver the infrastructure regional towns like Bendigo need to grow and get ahead.”
Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said the commitment to the expansion of the largest capacity airport in north-central Victoria is another example of the Liberal and Nationals Government supporting regional Australia.
“The Bendigo Airport is a central piece of infrastructure providing vital services for several regional centres in both Victoria and New South Wales,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The upgrade will provide a boost to the local economic, business and tourism sectors.” Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson welcomed the expansion, which is set to be delivered by 2023.
“I commend council, Bendigo Airport and the broader Bendigo community on their vision for this vital expansion,” Senator Henderson said.
“Once operational, the airport will generate a large boost in jobs, deliver tourism and business travel opportunities to the region and increase local economic output each year.
“This builds on the Coalition Government’s investments in Bendigo Airport including $5 million to construct a new runway to suit larger aircraft, $465,000 to expand the airport’s passenger transport apron and construct a run-up area and $300,000 to build a helicopter stand and a fuel truck parking area for emergency services.”
Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum said the airport’s expansion was necessary to cater for growing demand.
“The City of Greater Bendigo has been in discussions about the Bendigo Airport with the Liberal and Nationals Government over the last 12 months,” Mr Drum said.
“We are proud to support the delivery of new infrastructure that will bring more people to our region and better connect locals to where they need to go.”
City of Greater Bendigo Chief Executive Officer Craig Niemann said the Federal Government’s funding commitment would breathe new life into the airport and the local region.
“This is fantastic news for our region. By expanding the airport terminal, we are in a great position to welcome more flights, from more locations and bigger planes, which will drive an increase in tourism to Greater Bendigo and central Victoria,” Mr Niemann said.
“This project will also generate new local jobs, both during construction and when the expanded terminal and business park are operational, and create exciting new investment opportunities.
“Thank you to the Australian Government for these funds and commitment to this important regional asset.”
Construction on Bendigo Airport’s expansion is set to start later this year and be completed by 2023.
The Victorian Government is contributing $4.5 million toward the redevelopment of Bendigo Airport, while the Bendigo City Council is providing $985,000.