Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rockhampton Airport's Future is for the Public to Decide

The public can help to influence the future of Rockhampton Airport over the next couple of months.

The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin newspaper has recently reported that the Rockhampton Regional Council is to decide on whether to appoint an independent board of directors to run Rockhampton Airport.

The airport is one of the busiest regional facilities in Australia, and Councillors have previously ruled out privatisation. Mayor Brad Carter however, insists it should be making a stronger financial contribution.

This year the airport is budgeted to return $2.6 million to council coffers, but its closure by flooding in January cost an estimated $750,000 in revenue.

Councillors will decide the preferred management model over the next few months and will weigh up the pros and cons of three options.

These options are full cost pricing, commercialisation and corporatisation.

It’s the same process the council went through with Fitzroy River Water last year when councillors decided to ignore recommendations to appoint a separate board of directors.

Cr Graeme Brady, who chairs the business enterprise committee that effectively runs the airport, said consultation was a critical component of the public benefit assessment process and feedback from stakeholders on the likely costs and benefits of reforms was welcomed.

A stakeholder information paper has been prepared which outlines potential issues associated with each of the reform options.

It gives people the opportunity to make a contribution and have their say. The information paper is available from the council’s customer service centres and can also be downloaded from the airport website - LINK.

Written submissions must be made by Tuesday 12 April.

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