11 April 2014

Avalon Airport flying high after deal struck

The news that Avalon Airport is in line to become an international airport within 18 months is wonderful news for our region.

I am delighted that a Memorandum of Understanding to establish commercial and freight flights between China and Avalon Airport has been signed in Shanghai today, during Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s 700-member trade mission.

This is great news for travellers in south-west Victoria and will be a fantastic boost to the local economy.

Combined with our free trade agreements with Japan and South Korea, an international airport in our region offers our exporters particularly in agriculture enormous opportunity.

Along with many in our region, I am a very strong supporter of Avalon Airport which is why I ran a concerted campaign before the last election to make Avalon international.

The Abbott Government has been a strident advocate for Avalon Airport which is why the Prime Minister invited Avalon Airport’s CEO, Justin Giddings, to join the Asian trade mission.

In December 2013, Prime Minister Abbott pledged to support the construction of an international passenger terminal if an international carrier could be secured.

Based on the signing of the MOU with China’s Hainan Airlines, our region is now well on its way to turning a dream into reality.

Our government’s support for a second international airport for Victoria lies in stark contrast to the obstruction we saw from the previous Federal Labor government. In 2008, Labor blocked permission for budget carrier, AirAsia X, to land at Avalon which did enormous damage to Avalon’s development and our local economy.

11 April 2014