Aviation industry moving forward

THE DRAFT of the long-awaited consultants’ land use study on the future of Hervey Bay and Maryborough airports was shrouded in secrecy at yesterday’s council meeting at Tavistock Street headquarters – but finally led to local aviation operators getting the green light for take off.

The confidential meeting was held behind council doors, upsetting local aviation business folk, who told the Chronicle they wanted to know why the council was keeping the document away from public scrutiny.

The official council website announcement read: “Council resolves that the meeting be closed to the public in accordance with Section 463(1)(h) (other business for which a public discussion would be likely to prejudice the interests of the local government or someone else, or enable a person to gain a financial advantage) for the purpose of considering Item ORD 15.1 – Best Value Land Use – Fraser Coast Airports.”.

But when councillors emerged from their meeting yesterday Councillor Gerard O’Connell moved that:

1. The council finalise the 2030 Aviation Strategy for the Fraser Coast in consultation with industry partners; and

2. The Chief Executive Officer be authorised to finalise any outstanding resolutions, lease arrangements and negotiate prospective lease and business opportunities in accordance with Local Government Act requirements for the Hervey Bay and Maryborough airports.

Councillor Anne Nioa seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.

Maryborough Airport aviation business operator Russell Middleton said “it sounds fantastic”.

“At last we look like we’re moving forward and I look forward now to being presented with lease options.”



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