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Media releases

Posted on: 2 September, 2014

The Airport Group awarded International Export Hub Master Plan and Feasibility Study

Whitsunday Regional Council is pleased to announce that The Airport Group has been awarded
the tender for the preparation of the Whitsunday Coast Airport – International Export Hub Master
Plan and Feasibility Study.

Mayor Jenny Whitney said as part of the Regional and Resources Towns Action Plan the
Queensland Government recommended that Council immediately action the development of a
master plan and feasibility study for the Whitsunday Coast Airport.

“The purpose of the master plan is to identify and quantify the key economic drivers, opportunities and risks influencing potential expansion of the airport and adjacent lands,” she said.

“The plan will also identify the financial investment required to deliver the master plan and will lay the groundwork for Council to engage with potential investors.

“Over the last year Council has had serious discussions with potential investors about upgrading
the Whitsunday Coast Airport to international status, the master plan and feasibility study will
further enhance these discussions.

“The development of a master plan is also an important step in the airport being declared a Priority Development Area (PDA), which will maximise the economic and development opportunities of this key precinct and expand the developable size from 430 hectares to over 1000 hectares.

“The Whitsunday Regional Council as operator of the Whitsunday Coast Airport continues to work with airlines and investors to expand existing flight routes, add new routes and develop the airport itself, with the aim of upgrading the airport to international status as the Whitsunday Coast International Export Hub.

“Council thanks the Queensland Government for their assistance in this process and their
recognition that the Whitsunday Coast Airport is an important piece of infrastructure in the
Whitsunday region to drive economic and tourism growth, the master plan will help us realise that growth,” she said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said partnering with council to deliver a feasibility study for the Whitsunday Coast Airport– International Export Hub Master Plan demonstrated the Newman Government’s commitment to supercharge the region’s economy.

“The Regional and Resource Towns Action Plan was developed by my department after holding 11 workshops with relevant regional councils to listen to their planning challenges,” Mr Seeney said.

“Examining the feasibility of expanding the Whitsunday Coast Airport emerged as a key lever in
growing the economy of the Whitsunday region and I am pleased our government has now
provided $70,000 for the study.

“We promised to grow a four pillar economy based on tourism, agriculture, resources and
construction and this investigation delivers on that commitment.

“The study will investigate the viability of an export base for aquaculture and fresh produce as well as tourism options, both representing a great opportunity to grow the Whitsunday economy and attract new business to the area.”

Mayor Whitney said following a rigorous evaluation process Council unanimously agreed that The Airport Group was the preferred consultant to carry out the master plan and feasibility study.

The Airport Group Director Rob Mactaggart praised the Queensland Government and the
Whitsunday Regional Council for the approach they were taking to plan for the future of the State’s Infrastructure and underpin regional growth.

“Whitsunday is an economically diverse region important for tourism, agriculture and mining and it is important that the critical infrastructure such as the airport has a robust plan to accommodate the future growth of the region.

“Importantly this will also give clarity to all stakeholders on the role this airport will play at a
National and International level.

“We are pleased that we can utilise our full range of design and advisory skills to assist council with airport planning, design and the best governance structure”.

The work on the master plan is expected to begin in September and be completed by March 2015.

Ends

For media enquiries, contact:
Kate Lennox, Communications Manager
Phone: 07 4945 0614, 0427 458 369 or Email: kate.lennox@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au

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