GETTING IDEAS OFF THE GROUND: A REX airline flight.
GETTING IDEAS OFF THE GROUND: A REX airline flight. Jerad Williams

Agnes airport on Shorten's radar and other big Gladstone region plans

IT MIGHT only be an idea, but an airport for Agnes Water is on the council's radar.

Gladstone Region mayor Matt Burnett said one of his councillors raised it with ALP leader Bill Shorten during his visit to Gladstone on Wednesday.

There is already an aerodrome operating in Agnes Water but Cr Burnett said it was something the council would like to see potentially developed.

"Again it's for tourism, but it's also to boost the economy of Agnes," he said yesterday.

Gladstone Regional Council is aware of the commercial restraints for an airport in the outlying part of the region and are considering a "charter-type situation" and something the smaller airlines like REX or Alliance Airlines could look at.

"I can't see Qantas landing the Q400 in there any time soon, but there's no reason why other charter flights couldn't fly in there," Cr Burnett said.

Discovery Coast Moped Hire and Tours co-owner Lana Betzis welcomed the idea.

"It would be fantastic. Something like that would be great for the town," she said.

"A proper landing strip would greatly benefit the town."

Ms Betzis said the problem Agnes Water had was the tyranny of distance.

"It is a fair distance from Bundy and Gladstone and people find it a bit of a hassle to get from either of them," she said.

"They have to get a shuttle or hire a car to get here."

Ms Betzis said charter flights to and from Agnes Water would be good but they would have to be affordable to bring people in.

Cr Burnett said it was important to raise major ideas like this with higher levels of government.

The airport was not the only big idea the council raised with Mr Shorten.

The Mayor said he had sought a commitment from Mr Shorten for the Port Access Rd.

"We know that he will commit to that again when the next election is on because they've committed to it at the last two elections," he said.

"I asked him will you commit to funding the whole thing or a certain figure and I think he's going to be committing to a certain figure, but at least we know there's support for it."

Cr Burnett said he expected both sides of politics to commit to the project at the next election.

Bringing a naval presence to Gladstone was another issue the council raised.

The idea behind it is to bring ships into the Port of Gladstone to refuel from the product generated from Northern Oil's biofuel plant at Yarwun.

Mr Shorten said all options should be considered, but these things needed to happen as part of a general strategic plan.

Ideas and projects raised by the council:

Intergenerational Campus at Derby St, Philip St Community Precinct, Port Access Rd, Round Hill Creek and tourism funding, Navy presence in Gladstone, Bio Futures Strategy, federal energy policy, fringe benefits tax exemptions, Agnes Water airport, additional LNG trains on Curtis Island, Western and Southern road connection, Boyne Tannum pool, port expansion project, Gladstone Toowoomba inland rail.



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