City flies solo in quest for airline provider

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Pierra WillixBusselton Dunsborough Times
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Despite debates in State Parliament last week about the Government’s responsibility to help secure an airline route for the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport, the City of Busselton says it does not expect any help on continuing negotiations with an airline provider.
Camera IconDespite debates in State Parliament last week about the Government’s responsibility to help secure an airline route for the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport, the City of Busselton says it does not expect any help on continuing negotiations with an airline provider. Credit: WA News.

Despite debates in State Parliament last week about the Government’s responsibility to help secure an airline route for the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport, the City of Busselton says it does not expect any help on continuing negotiations with an airline provider.

Budget estimate hearings last week resulted in the airport again being brought to the fore, with Vasse MLA Libby Mettam and Warren Blackwood MLA Terry Redman questioning the Government on the roles of Tourism WA and the South West Development Commission in the project.

Ms Mettam told the Times said it was essential the Government leveraged current investment and the visitor trends, which she said suggested the international brand of Margaret River was worth promoting not only for the benefit of the region but the State.

“WA Labor went to the election prioritising regional aviation but what we have seen from them is the opposite, cutting 55 per cent funding from destination development over the next four years and a lacklustre approach to lifting tourism numbers through opening up the Busselton-Margaret River region to new markets,” she said.

Busselton mayor Grant Henley said the City would accept any assistance from the State Government but acknowledged significant funding from both levels of government had already been received and they were “certainly not” relying on additional money.

“With the support of key stakeholders, the City has been and continues to be very proactive in marketing the airport and negotiations with a provider, while confidential, remain on track,” he said.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the Government, through Tourism WA, was working closely with the City and airlines to develop services for the airport.

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