Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson today urged caution over talk of a possible Sunshine Coast airport sell-off as being the answer to the airport’s future development.
Ms Simpson, responding to speculation in today’s media, said she believed a sell-off into private hands was not necessarily in the interest of the regional economy which the airport served.
“There is greater value in the Sunshine Coast Regional Airport to the regional economy such as tourism and the developing aviation industry, than the business of the airport itself,” Ms Simpson said.
“I understand the need to investigate funding models for the future expansion but if the airport is completely sold off to private interests, they will try to leverage their returns for their business first and that may be at the expense of the regional economy.
“This is long-term infrastructure servicing not only a tourism sector but a number of aviation related businesses – such as pilot training and engineers – I want as many as possible trained here in Australia not overseas.
“I want to know that the planes our passengers are flying on in future are serviced by a robust quality aviation sector supported by wholistic approach to regional development and infrastructure delivery.
“The Sunshine Coast airport has that potential to do that, beyond even what we have now, that would create more high value jobs for our region and the economy, in addition to our tourism industry.
“I’m committed to working with all levels of government to help achieve that as we work together to get the right solution for the long term as well as the more immediate future.”