Campaign for Melbourne flights
“HERVEY Bay needs a bomb put under it to bring it back to life, and direct flights in and out of Melbourne will certainly help.”
That was Urangan former TAA flight attendant Pamela Strongman’s powerful message to councillors yesterday when they met in Tavistock Street for their ordinary and community and development meetings.
“I came here from Melbourne 18 months ago and in recent weeks have walked miles to encourage shop owners, restaurant and pub people to support the council’s Melbourne flights campaign because we need the business in Hervey Bay.”
An emotional Ms Strongman asked if she needed to keep up her campaign because an airport security officer had told her there would be direct Melbourne flights in by Christmas.
“Is that true?’ she asked the councillors.
“We are negotiating with an airline for direct flights,” Mayor Kruger said. “But it’s unlikely to happen before Christmas but we are working on it.”
Mr Kruger has been negotiating with airlines interested in flying in and out of the Fraser Coast.
Later Ms Strongman told the Chronicle she was seriously considering leaving the Bay “because it’s dying”.
“As I’ve been walking handing out these campaign forms that I picked up from the airport, I have seen so many shops empty and on Saturday nights the restaurants are often almost empty. My partner still lives and works in Melbourne because there are not enough jobs here.”
Ms Strongman said she had phoned the council “on many many occasions to try to get their help in perhaps getting these forms into populated places like the RSL and the Boat Club, but I keep getting passed down the line and nothing happens.
“I’ve also been trying to get an appointment with the airport manager, but again I can’t break through the phone barrier.”
Councillor Dalgleish said he supported direct flights to Melbourne, but people also wanted flights to northern destinations.
“We don’t get many conferences because it’s just too difficult to fly into here.”
To join the campaign register online at www.frasercoast.qld.gov.au or pick up a form from the council or visitor information centres.