Nationals promise cheaper airfares for regional WA

The Nationals have promised $125 million if elected towards regional WA airfare affordability and route development.

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills said the funding aimed to boost tourism and increase regional connectivity.

“I couldn’t say how much they will drop but we’re looking to use air travel more in WA,” he said.

“WA is a big place, you can’t drive everywhere.”

Mr Grills said airfares were unacceptably high and a serious concern for residents in regional WA.

He said travelling across WA for his job gave him an understanding of the costs involved in flying regional.

“It brings home to me how expensive it is, I get it first hand,” he said.

Mr Grills said he was unable to provide a time frame but the plan would move ahead once the review was complete.

If elected the Nationals will establish of a select committee of Parliament to make recommendations on how the funding should be allocated.

Mr Grills said the fund would be delivered as part of The Nationals’ $610 million strategy to transform the State’s tourism industry.

“The Seizing the Opportunity in Tourism initiative is focused on developing tourism infrastructure, cheaper air travel, destination marketing and more regional events to drive tourism expansion in WA,” Mr Grill said.

“It will help communities from the Kimberley to the Goldfields tap into the vast tourism potential that exists in our regions.”

Shelly Giles said she has been living in Esperance for the past year and had not travelled on a regional flight to Perth because of the cost.

“I prefer driving and I’ve heard flying is really expensive from here,” she said.

“If the cost came down I would probably give it go.”

Local resident Laszlo Rozsa said he hated flying and would rather walk to Perth than travel by air but believed cheaper flights would encourage more people to travel.

“I’ve heard tickets are awfully expensive, that it can cost more to fly overseas than from here to Perth,” he said.

“For me personally, I don’t think so, but I do believe if the plane was a little bit cheaper than more people would use it.”

Perth resident Josephine Gallop said it was her first time visiting the town after driving from the city and cheaper regional flights would encourage her to visit again.

“There’s no two ways about it, the prices are ridiculous,” she said.

“I would fly down but it just isn’t affordable.

“If it was cheaper then I would love to fly down, it’s absolutely beautiful here.”

Esperance resident Kathy Brennand said cheaper flights were a good idea and long-overdue.

“I drive to Perth because flying is very expensive, if it wasn’t then I probably would fly,” she said.

This story Nationals pledge cheaper regional flights first appeared on The Esperance Express.