Time to turn airport plan into real action

EDITORIAL: If you owned a $160 million  asset you would be expecting to get a return of at least 5% to 10% - that's between $16m and $8m a year.

Last year Rockhampton Airport generated revenue of $16.1m with total expenses of $10.7m.

Does that profit margin result satisfy you, the rate payer, as a shareholder?

Team McMillan yesterday released an impressive Rockhampton Airport policy statement which includes a commitment to generate "the maximum return on investment" for this excellent local government asset.

A key element in TM's plan is "the establishment of a purpose-built cold store, freight handling and export facility adjacent to the Rockhampton airport site (i.e. a 'Rockhampton Airport Export & Freight Handling Precinct').

TM says this would depend upon Rockhampton's ability to secure 'international' airport status and establishment of an Australian customs quarantine and inspection presence, even if initially only for freight and export purposes.

TM points out that the establishment of the Rookwood and Eden Bann weirs would be important factors in realising its short to medium term agricultural development ambitions with large-scale exporting of the region's agricultural products "from our own backyard directly to Asia".

"RRC will need to work collaboratively with all levels of government in order to realise this agenda, including in the exploration of new trade and investment opportunities reflective of our region's unique strategic advantages."

This is a compelling vision and one that is based on solid foundations built on the approval of the two weir projects which are corner stones behind the development of the Lower Fitzroy Agricultural Project.

You know it make sense - it's just a matter now of turning that commonsense approach into real action.

I sincerely hope and trust the Australian and Queensland governments back this industry building strategy regardless of who leads Rockhampton Regional Council after the March election.



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