THE City of Greater Bendigo has failed in its attempt to secure $4.4 million in federal funding to upgrade the Bendigo Airport terminal.
The federal government announced the successful applicants for the second round of the Building Better Regions fund on Monday – 136 projects totalling more than $208 million.
But the Bendigo Airport was absent from the list, leaving in doubt the next stage of the airport project which the council believed would have helped the city to secure a commercial carrier.
It is now set to become an election issue as the council prepares to lobby both major parties for a funding commitment.
The project included new passenger terminal facilities with an arrivals hall, baggage pick up, check in counters, departure lounge and retail opportunities.
The total project cost was $9.98 million, with the council also seeking $4.5 million from the state government. The council planned to chip in the remaining $1 million.
City of Greater Bendigo chief executive officer Craig Niemann said the council will continue to fight for funding for the terminal project, and could seek a commitment from both major parties ahead of next year’s federal election.
“We are disappointed our application to the Building Better Regions Fund has not been successful,” he said.
“When an airline does fly out of Bendigo Airport, a new terminal building will be necessary.
“The city will continue to seek state government support for this project and look for other opportunities for federal funding, particularly advocating for the project in the lead up to next year’s federal election.”
A range of other regional airport projects were successful in receiving Commonwealth funding.
These included $1.4 million to upgrade the Emerald Airport, $1.6 million to extend rescue facilities at Mackay Airport, $5 million to upgrade runways at the Mareeba Airport, $1.1 million for a new entrance to the Townsville Airport and $3.5 million for Mount Gambier Airport to cater for larger aircraft.
Busselton Airport received $1.5 million to expand its runway and create industrial lots and Geraldton Airport received $10 million to allow for larger aircraft.
In announcing the successful applicants, federal minister for regional development John McVeigh said the projects would help to “unlock economic potential, create jobs, and transform regions”.
The Castlemaine Goods Shed received $263,000 to create a creative hub, the Echuca-Moama Men’s Shed received $20,000 and Stage One of the Macedon Ranges Livestock Exchange Truck Park received $880,000.