Aviation group conduct new report

ANXIOUS airport users have been given a month's respite by the council on new fees and charges so the lobby group Fraser Coast Aviation can do “a further report”, council CEO Andrew Brien announced yesterday.

But the generous offer by the council crash landed on to the group's stunned aviation adviser Max Streeter when the Chronicle told him the news late yesterday.

“But we did a report as they asked,” Mr Streeter said.

“And considering the ridiculously short time the council gave us to do that report, it was a big call but we met their deadline with a 20-page report.

“Now what are they talking about wanting a further report? I know nothing about this.

“We asked for a year to develop a substantive project that could see what we presented in our report come to fruition for the benefit of the aviation industry and the wider community.

“Now they've given us a month's extension? Are they serious?”

The council tabled a 21-page coloured report, 2031 Aviation Strategy, at yesterday's Maryborough City Hall meeting. Mayor Kruger has a nice photo in it and a visionary message. There are comments from the public, which Andrew Brien said had been taken on board.

But little has changed from the original strategy document to the new version.

“Now the hard work begins,” councillor Gerard O'Connell said.

“This strategy has been a long time coming and we need to press the button and get going with it.

“Aviation is one of our key economic drivers in this region.

“We recently opened up more land around both airports and those blocks have gone out to tender. This strategy gives us the motivation to make this work.”

Mr Streeter said the aviation group had offered to use the year's extension they asked for to “consult free of charge to the council”.

“We calculated our input would have cost them up to $60,000,” he said.

“But when we met with the mayor, the airport manager and Andrew Brien to initially discuss all this we wanted to have more discussion in the airport's council meeting room. They said they would have to charge us for that.”

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