Joint media release - The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Ewen Jones MP, Federal Member for Herbert
The Australian Border Force (ABF) will begin a recruitment process in coming weeks to staff Townsville Airport for international flights.
With international flights to begin soon, there will also be a significant investment in technology rolled out at the airport.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the opening of the airport to international flights would bring a broad range of benefits to the North Queensland economy.
'The Australian Government is providing $26.2 million over four years to establish ongoing border clearance services at Townsville and Sunshine Coast airports in Queensland to enable regular international travel,'Mr Dutton said.
'The ability for Townsville Airport to now offer ongoing international flights will boost local business and help create jobs for the long term and emphasises this Government’s commitment to develop northern Australia.”
The Federal Member for Herbert Ewen Jones said increased air traffic would boost the tourism industry, encourage business to invest and help unlock North Queensland’s potential.
'My city wants to be a major hub for the development of northern Australia.
'To do that we must be able to receive and project through an international airport. This is the first step in the true internationalization of our great region,'Mr Jones said.
Mr Dutton said it was expected an additional 12 positions would be required in Townsville to cater for international flights and this would create some new local jobs.
'The ABF provides for the flexible deployment of trained officers to airports as need arises. However we will be employing some locally-based staff in the time ahead.
'We are listening to and working with local industry to provide an international airport facility that meets international aviation standards,'Mr Dutton said.
The technology roll-out at Townsville airport would include an extensive CCTV network, electronic examination and substance detection facilities and biometric technology.
Previously, many of the required facilities were brought temporarily to the airport for any international flights.
Mr Dutton said ABF officials were working closely with airport and airline management to ensure biosecurity and border clearance activities were aligned with the proposed flight schedules of international airlines.