City of Greater Bendigo unsure of federal funding for Bendigo Airport terminal upgrade

STILL NOTHING: The City of Greater Bendigo is yet to hear about its funding application for Bendigo Airport. Picture: GLENN DANIELS
STILL NOTHING: The City of Greater Bendigo is yet to hear about its funding application for Bendigo Airport. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Two central Victorian projects will receive federal cash from a national funding pool but the City of Greater Bendigo remains in the dark over its application to upgrade the Bendigo Airport terminal. 

Liberal Senator for Victoria Jane Hume on Friday announced $1.14 million for the Creative Industries Hub at the Castlemaine Goods Shed, and Stage One of the Macedon Ranges Livestock Exchange Truck Park. 

“This investment will have major flow-on benefits across the community including increased social connections in the arts, such as volunteering and mentoring, and bring welcome support the agricultural and transport sectors in Bendigo,” she said.

The cash came from the infrastructure projects stream of the building better regions fund, from which the COGB applied for $4.4 million to upgrade the Bendigo Airport terminal.

Its understood successful applicants were expected to be announced in May. 

The terminal upgrade is estimated to cost $9.98 million and the COGB is seeking a further $4.5 million from the state government.

COGB director of strategy and growth Bernie O’Sullivan said the council was yet to hear the outcome of its application for federal cash – lodged in December last year.

He added an application was also underway with the state government.

“The city has made representations to the Minister for Regional Development and the Premier seeking a commitment of $4.5m to match the building better regions fund application,” he said.

COGB chief executive officer Craig Niemann in January said “a bigger, improved terminal would add to the likelihood of securing a larger transport operator”.

The project plans deliver new passenger terminal facilities, including arrivals hall, baggage pick up, check in counters, public concourse, departure lounge and retail and food business opportunities.

Bendigo is one of nine regional Australian cities being considered for a Qantas Pilot Academy.

Bendigo is one of nine regional Australian cities being considered for a Qantas Pilot Academy.

Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke has said on a number of occasions discussions with carriers were “positive” and “ongoing”, but no partnership has materialised as yet. 

The city opened the redeveloped airport runway in May 2017, which included taxiways, signage, lighting and fencing infrastructure.

Speaking at the official launch of the runway, Cr O’Rourke said Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney were the most likely commercial passenger routes from the newly-developed Bendigo Airport. 

Executives from the Qantas Pilot Group Academy were in Bendigo last week discussing the potential new pilot training school at Bendigo Airport.

Bendigo was the only Victorian city shortlisted along with eight other regional centres.