State wants to delay work at the airport terminal

The state government wants to delay the start of work on the Busselton Margaret River Airport terminal until airlines commit to flying directly into the region.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan was in the area last week to have discussions with the City of Busselton about delaying the start of work at the new terminal.

Ms MacTiernan said it seemed prudent to await an outcome from airlines before the state government committed further expenditure.

“While no commitments have been made by airlines to date, we understand there will be clarification of the positions of the airlines within the month.”

City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said the minister was reluctant to spend tax payer dollars on the new terminal prior to a firm commitment from an airline provider to use the facility on an ongoing basis.

“Discussions remain ongoing with airline providers. We hope to have a clear picture by March,” he said.

Mr Henley said there had been some delays to the project while the state government undertook its value optimisation review.

“However, the project is still tracking well against major milestones.”

At the last City of Busselton council meeting, councillors agreed to award a tender to a Busselton based business Pindan Construction to complete work on the new terminal at the airport.

Once work is complete at the airport it is expected that passenger flights will fly directly into the region from the Eastern states and cargo flights will fly directly into South East Asia.

The Busselton Margaret River airport expansion was made possible through $54.5 million of state government funding and $9.78 million of federal government funding.