Busselton Airport terminal on hold by orders of WA Government

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Nick ButterlyThe West Australian
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The State Government has ordered a halt to the planned $13 million terminal building at Busselton airport until the local council can sign a deal with a major airline.

But the City of Busselton still hopes to attract new flights, confirming it is in talks with Jetstar to bring three direct flights from Melbourne to the South West every week — a big tourism boost for the region.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the council had agreed not to go ahead with the terminal building until a major airline had been signed to provide a regular service.

The City of Busselton has been in negotiations with Jetstar to provide a direct service from the east coast —a move that would provide a major tourism boost for the region.

Ms MacTiernan said it made little sense to build a new terminal until an airline was committed.

“We are waiting on some direction from Jetstar before we push the button on the construction of the terminal,” she said.

The State and Federal governments are providing funding for the terminal as part of a wider redevelopment of Busselton airport.

A Jetstar spokesman said the airline would consider the idea as part of other changes to its network.

City of Busselton councillor Grant Henley said the shire had already awarded a contract for construction of the new terminal, but agreed there was little sense in starting building until a new airline was locked in.

Liberal member for Vasse Libby Mettam said no airline would commit to the airport without support from the State Government.

“This regional airport project provides access to WA’s most popular international region and must be supported through marketing, events and the current project plan to ensure WA tourism continues to grow,” she said.

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