By Nicholas Nakos
Bendigo Airport will receive $4.4 million in federal government funding if the Labor Party is elected in next month’s election.
The funds would be used to expand the existing terminal building and improve security and amenity standards for future services.
At present, the terminal is able to seat 30 passengers, despite QantasLink’s Q300 turboprop aircraft seating 50 passengers for its Bendigo to Sydney flights that commenced last month.
The Shadow Minister for Regional Services Stephen Jones said there is an appetite from people across the country to see what Bendigo has to offer.
“We know there is a hunger for tourism from throughout the country to come to Bendigo and look at your wonderful heritage values and city,” Mr Jones said.
“We know that close to 500,000 people are coming here and staying a night to see what the region has to offer,” he said.
The City of Greater Bendigo will commit $1 million to the project, but is seeking state government support.
“This has always been a three-tiered approach and we are looking for the state government to commit funds,” Cr Margaret O’Rourke said.
“We are looking for $4.5 million in funding from the state government,” she said.
A redeveloped airport could see more flights and new services being offered, with Cr O’Rourke floating the idea of a route from Bendigo
“We have to make sure that we have very successful patronage on the flight for Sydney and positive feedback from Qantas. We look forward to hopefully more flights but also looking at other destinations,” Cr O’Rourke said.
At present, QantasLink is operating morning flights from Bendigo to Sydney on Monday to Saturday and afternoon flights from Sydney to Bendigo on Sunday to Friday.