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Five Durack airstrips fly high with funding

Federal Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said she is pleased five airstrips in the Durack electorate will undergo upgrades with $687,526 in Federal funding.

Announced today under Round 6 of the Australian Government’s Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program, airstrips at Carnarvon, Fitzroy Crossing, Wiluna and the remote communities of Kunawarritji and Yulmbu will receive a boost with the funding.

Kunawarritji is an Aboriginal community in the Pilbara located on the Canning Stock Route; and Yulmbu is via the Gibb River Road in the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley. “Upgrades like this will ensure that residents in the Durack community living in remote areas can remain well-connected, overcoming the effects of the tyranny of distance,” Minister Price said.

“Being connected to regional centres is vital for every remote community and I am pleased today to announce that these communities will receive the airstrip work they need.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the Government was delivering better access and safety upgrades for remote community airstrips thanks to its 2018 Budget commitment of $28 million to extend the program over four years.

“These upgrades ensure continued access to essential, potentially lifesaving health care, as well as fresh food, mail services and access to employment and education opportunities,” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia Chief Executive Dr Martin Laverty who said: “upgrading airstrips enables better access for the RFDS during emergency retrievals.

“From Flinders Island to Palm Island, and Fitzroy Crossing to Tennant Creek, RFDS needs reliable airstrips.” In total, $10.1 million will be allocated to 34 projects across remote Australia under Round 6 of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.

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