Fisher confident of case for military precinct at airport
COUNCILLOR Neil Fisher wants to see a military precinct at the Rockhampton Airport.
And he is confident the city can present a strong case for its development.
Cr Fisher (pictured) said the airport was a valuable asset for the region, producing a return of about $5 million last financial year.
The airport played a vital role in military exercises for the country, and serviced the logistical and operational needs of military exercises at Shoalwater Bay, the nation's leading military training facility.
"This last financial year, in excess of 10,000 troops used Rockhampton Airport facilities," Cr Fisher said, likening that number to the population of the region's fast-growing community of Gracemere.
"This is a real achievement. It just shows the confidence that the ADF (Australian Defence Force) and some of our international neighbours have in our airport facilities."
Speaking at the airport in the shadow of the hulking KC30 military Airbus 330, Cr Fisher said military exercises generated millions of dollars for the region's economy.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said while she could not see Rockhampton becoming a military base, there was a strong case for a military precinct, which would be a stand-alone, secure facility.
Cr Fisher said much of the necessary infrastructure was already in place and the runway had the capacity to land some of the world's biggest aircraft.
The council would move to establish partnerships with the ADF and the Federal Government to develop the military precinct.
"There are so many areas where this dovetails into further development and further opportunities, not just for Rockhampton but for Australia as a whole," he said.