I was delighted to join the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, and Avalon Airport CEO, Justin Giddings, to officially open the new international terminal at Avalon Airport on Sunday 2 December 2018.
From Wednesday 5 December 2018, AirAsia will operate twice daily passenger and cargo services between Avalon and Kuala Lumpur.
AirAsia expects to carry 440,000 visitors to and from Avalon Airport annually and there will be approximately 10,000 kilograms of freight capacity per annum, meaning the region will now have direct access to Asian markets.
I am very proud of our government’s support of Avalon including fast-tracking planning consent and contributing $20 million to build the international terminal.
One of the very first campaigns I ran as a candidate back in 2010 was to make Avalon international.
In 2007, AirAsia reached an international flights agreement with Avalon; but soon after the election of the Rudd government, in early 2008, the deal was dead.
Incomprehensibly, Labor rejected Avalon’s proposal to build an international terminal. The Member for Corio, Richard Marles, later said: “… Avalon put forward a proposal that did not safeguard Australia and Geelong’s interests.”
This was a terrible economic decision for our region.
Avalon’s new international terminal is absolutely in Geelong and Australia’s best interests and will provide a huge economic boost for the Corangamite electorate and our regional economy.
Some 187 direct jobs will be created and visitor expenditure is forecast to double in 10 years to $582 million. By 2028, this investment will also generate an additional 2,000 jobs.
There will be a full time presence of Australian Border Force officers and specialist equipment will ensure Australia’s high standards of border protection are maintained at Avalon.
4 December 2018