- Thursday 17 November 2016
The Federal Government today announced it will provide the Sunshine Coast Council with a $181 million loan to assist with the expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said while loan documents were yet to be finalised, council welcomed the news the loan had been offered.
“The Sunshine Coast Airport expansion is one of the region’s game-changer projects identified in the Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033 and now with the major project approvals in place and access to this loan confirmed, council is able to go ahead with the construction of the new runway, apron expansion and related infrastructure,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Council first made its request to the Federal Government for a concessional loan more than two years ago and I am pleased we finally have an outcome.
“I stress that this is a loan, not a grant, which council is required to repay.
“The estimated net benefit of the loan to council - based on the loan terms and conditions – is approximately $1 million depending on the drawdown of funds and this represents the value of the Commonwealth’s contribution towards enabling this significant regional infrastructure project to proceed.
“I have always said council would secure the best deal we could for our ratepayers.
“On the final analysis, the loan terms and conditions offered by the Commonwealth are slightly better than what we would have obtained elsewhere.”
Mayor Jamieson took the opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable support of the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) and the Queensland Government, which had been instrumental in securing the loan from the Federal Government.
“The QTC has assisted in negotiating the loan terms and conditions and I also acknowledge their work with the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Queensland Treasury in obtaining council’s borrowing approvals and laying the important groundwork so we are able to obtain the State guarantee for the loan,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The Airport expansion project will contribute $4.1 billion to the Sunshine Coast economy between 2020 and 2040 and result in 3500 fewer dwellings being affected by noise by 2020.
“It will ensure we have an airport that can accommodate larger, more fuel efficient aircraft, enabling more direct flights to more locations in Australia, Asia and the Western Pacific.
“Those new routes will boost our tourism and international trade and help our export businesses, particularly those operating in the food and agri-business sectors, so they get their products and services to markets faster and more efficiently.
“With this approval now provided, and once the loan documentation is signed and conditions satisfied, council will move forward with the construction project so the new runway and associated infrastructure is in place by Christmas 2020.”