Royal Flying Doctor Services in remote areas of Farrer have received vital support from the Coalition Government, with three airstrips to be upgraded using more than $92,000 from Round 4 of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Programme.

Jointly announcing the local funding with local MP Sussan Ley, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the funding was part of the Australian Government’s announcement in the 2015-16 Budget of $33.7 million over four years to fund upgrades for remote community airstrips across Australia.

“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,” Mr Chester said.

“These airstrip upgrades will ensure that local residents have continued access to essential health care services including emergency medical evacuations by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“Given smaller aircraft often service these communities, simple measures such as providing a smooth runway or keeping wildlife away can make all the difference in a safe landing.”

Ms Ley said $92,500 in funding had been allocated to three airstrip upgrades, each of which has unique needs to ensure clear, navigable access at any hour of the day.

“In regions like ours, the Royal Flying Doctor Service is often the first and only option to deliver access to medical treatment and health services,” Ms Ley said.

“The installation of lighting and other vital equipment will improve visibility for RFDS pilots and the various other users of these strips.

“It is funding from the Commonwealth which is very welcome but also very much needed in smaller, remote communities.”

More details

More than $92,500 allocated to three upgrades to remote airstrips in the Farrer electorate.

– Hillston – Install RNAV and Lighting – $42,500.00
– Manilla Station – Install RNAV and Lighting – $ 42,500.00
– Nelia Station – Install Lighting – $7,500.00

The upgrades form part of Round 4 of the Australian Government’s $33.7 million Remote Airstrip Upgrade Programme. The upgrades improve access to fresh food, medical services, other communities, and work and education opportunities for residents.