$50,000 set to push airshow

THE spirits of Wide Bay Australia International Airshow board members are sky-high following confirmation of $50,000 funding from Bundaberg Regional Council for the 2011 event.

Airshow director Neil McPhillips said they were delighted with the “seed” contribution agreed to in Bundaberg Regional Council's meeting on Tuesday.

“We're trying to secure the future of the 2011 show, and to do that we need to plan for it now,” Mr McPhillips said.

“Without that support it would be very difficult to put on an event like this. We're trying to take the airshow to the next level - it's a great event.”

Mr McPhillips said they were now waiting on the economic impact assessment on this year's airshow, expected in a few weeks, to move further ahead with plans.

“We had slightly more than 22,000 attendees - that's a substantial economic impact on the region, but we want that quantified,” he said.

“Realistically you need some sense of surety for the plans.”

Mr McPhillips said plans to meet with Deputy Premier Paul Lucas, hatched during the August community cabinet, once the assessment is released,would hold even further hope for funding.

“We're very keen to have the state government on board to generate aviation and aerospace interest,” he said.

The $50,000 in council funding matches the former Bundaberg City Council's contribution to this year's airshow.

A director on the airshow board, Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch was not present at the council discussion and did not vote on the item, but said it was an event council was keen to get behind.

“We are looking forward to seeing the economic impact assessment,” Cr Pyefinch said.

“Our belief was that it had a significant economic impact.”

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