Joint media release - The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Ewen Jones MP, Federal Member for Herbert
The 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Governments plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.
Two Australian airports – Sunshine Coast and Townsville – will now be able to offer ongoing international air services as a result of the 2015-16 Budget.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the Australian Government will provide $26.2 million over four years to establish ongoing border clearance services at both airports to enable regular international travel.
The Federal Member for Herbert Ewen Jones MP said I have been advocating for this project for a long time and I’m happy to see that the Government has allocated funding for this in the Budget.
“The ability for Townsville airport to now offer ongoing international flights will not only help create local jobs for the long term but will help local business through tourism,” Mr Jones said.
“The new funding further emphasises the Government’s commitment to develop northern Australia.”
Mr Dutton said that increased visitor numbers will boost the tourism industry in northern Australia, encouraging businesses to invest and help to unlock the region’s full potential.
“The funding will be directed towards customs, immigration and quarantine functions associated with international passenger processing, aircraft clearance and counter terrorism to manage the border protection and biosecurity risks at these airports,” Mr Dutton said.
“We have set up a model within the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service – soon to be the Australian Border Force – which provides for the flexible deployment of trained officers to airports as the need arises.”
Border agency officials will work closely with airport and airline management at the airport to ensure appropriate resourcing for biosecurity and border clearance activities is aligned to the proposed flight schedules of international airlines.