$75k runway upgrade

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Walpole Airport will receive funding to upgrade its runway after the Federal Government announced more than $400,000 for improvements to three airstrips within the O’Connor electorate.

The $75,000 worth of funding for Walpole is expected to allow for excavation and reforming of 300m of runway, along with improvements to the water bomber re-load area.

Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the work would allow for better access to regional areas.

“Many people living in cities may not be aware of the importance of these airstrips in connecting people living in remote communities,” he said.

“For communities situated hundreds of kilometres from the nearest regional centre, access by air is critical in responding to emergency situations.”

Work will also be done at Ravensthorpe airport and Tjuntjuntjara airstrip.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the funding would help regional communities through a variety of avenues.

“The tyranny of distance is a way of life for many of our most remote communities, and safe and functioning airstrips are often the only reliable means of transport for freight and urgent services,” he said.

“These airstrip upgrades will ensure people living in these three regions have continued access to essential health-care services, including emergency medical evacuations as well as improved access to work and education opportunities.

“Having access to fresh food and water, and indeed access to communities hundreds of kilo-metres away, is an under-appreciated fact in many cities, but for residents in remote communities it is essential.”

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