Friday, June 15, 2012

Member Puts Forward a Bid to Have Rockhampton Airport Moved

While we are highlighting some of the fantastic aircraft movements at Rockhampton Airport recently, there has also been a recent report that Rockhampton Airport will move, with a new Airport to be built east of the city.  That is of course, if the Federal Member for Capricornia, Kirsten Livermore, gets her way.  

In a shock move, Kirsten Livermore has begun a serious, long-term bid to relocate the airport away from the flood plain where it is currently built to Hedlow – some 15km from Rockhampton city.  Rockhampton Airport was closed and cut off by floodwater for three weeks in January 2011, when the Fitzroy River peaked at 9.2 metres. Rockhampton Airport shuts at 8.8 metres.

Ms Livermore wants Rockhampton Regional Council to develop a 20-year-plan for a new airport, which includes securing land at her preferred sight of Hedlow. The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin reported that this location would link with her vision for a new Rockhampton transport corridor across the Yeppen flood plain, east of the Berserker Ranges, to connect with the existing Bruce Highway north of the city.

Details of her proposal are in an explosive letter she wrote recently to Federal Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese, which attacked the State Government for "mismanaging" the Yeppen Flood Plain Study and flood-proofing of the Bruce Highway into Rockhampton.

Ms Livermore's letter goes on to state that "the Rockhampton Regional Council should immediately secure an alternative site for a future airport at Hedlow, along with Commonwealth assistance particularly in relation to NAV-AIDS (navigational aids)".  She also points out that the airport's new location would be strategically located between Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast, and would also facilitate easier access to Shoalwater Bay for defence forces using the airport.

So far, the proposed Rockhampton Airport move has received a mixed reaction, with Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow saying that the Rockhampton’s current airport already serves its purpose well.  She chose to highlight the (greater) need to flood-proof the Bruce Highway in a recent interview.

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