Business leaders call for airport funding

CALL FOR SUPPORT: Bendigo business leaders at the Bendigo Airport. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

CALL FOR SUPPORT: Bendigo business leaders at the Bendigo Airport. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

BENDIGO business leaders are calling on the federal government to provide the final $5 million to fund the Airport Redevelopment Project.

Representatives from some of the city's big businesses - including Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Hazeldenes and Jimmy Possum - met at the Bendigo Airport My Jet terminal on Friday morning to discuss the role of aviation in the modern economy.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank chairman Robert Johanson spoke at the meeting and described the airport as "essential infrastructure".

Mr Johanson said the project would be a fantastic benefit for the local economy.

"As a bank and as the bank in this region, if we can support infrastructure which will help develop the region, then we as a major bank in the region will do well out of that,'' he said.

"So it's a virtual circle for us and we're very keen to support this and other developments in the region." 

Mr Johanson said the flow-on effect of improving the Bendigo Airport would be significant.

Vicki Gaudion from Hazeldenes said improved airport facilities would be advantageous to the business.

"I don't think we'll use it too much for our own staff but we certainly use a lot of consultants and international visitors ... it will save a lot of time and hassles to hop on one plane to the next," she said.

City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons welcomed the additional support from the Bendigo business community and its call to urgently redevelop the airport.

"The city and state government have committed $5 million each but we still need an additional $5 million from the federal government which we will continue to pursue through various development funds," he said.

Cr Lyons said the final $5 million required was the final piece of the puzzle for the redevelopment.

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