Lisa Chesters calls for federal funding

Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters has called for federal funding to expand the Bendigo Airport terminal in the wake of yesterday’s announcement by Qantas that it will
expand flight services between Bendigo and Sydney.

From August 17, an additional flight will operate on Saturday evenings from Sydney to Bendigo, and an additional flight will operate on Sunday mornings from Bendigo to Sydney – offering customers in Bendigo a same day return flight every day of the week.

“This is a great announcement for our region,” Ms Chesters said.

“It’s a sign of how successful the move to start Qantas flights between Bendigo and Sydney has been and demonstrates that demand has continued to grow.”

QantasLink chief executive officer John Gissing said the response to the new direct Bendigo service has been fantastic – from residents as well as business and leisure travellers from Sydney and Bendigo.

“After less than two months of operation, in response to the strong uptake, we’re pleased to be adding more flights to the schedule to offer our customers more choice.

“We’re pleased to see the local community has really supported the launch of the new route and we’ll continue to work with tourism and industry leaders to promote the flights to travellers from across Australia and around the world.”

City of Greater Bendigo chief executive officer Craig Niemann said the announcement was another exciting step for the city’s partnership with Qantas.

“Our region’s positive response and strong passenger numbers have shown there is a need for additional flights, so to be able to influence the delivery of a true seven-day-a-week service is fantastic.

“The city thanks the community and wider region for its ongoing support, as well as the Qantas team for its continued collaboration and delivery of an outstanding service.”

Ms Chesters said the announcement was a further indication of why the Bendigo Airport terminal needed to be upgraded, as the current facility will not cope with future growth.

Bendigo Airport’s existing terminal building has limited capacity and is unable to provide the expected customer experience or mandated aviation security environment for aircraft with more than 30 passengers.

“This project would be a good boost for the Bendigo economy and local infrastructure.”

The Labor party promised $4.4 million to further upgrade the Bendigo Airport terminal and precinct during the federal election campaign.

– Peter Kennedy