ALGA President Cr Linda Scott was a keynote speaker at the Australian Airports Association Conference in Adelaide on 16 November.
Cr Scott highlighted the importance of council-run regional airports to local communities and how more funding support is urgently needed.
Across Australia, local governments own and operate more than 300 small airports and aerodromes – from Albany in Western Australia to Broken Hill in New South Wales and King Island in Tasmania. These airports are essential for sustaining and linking our regional communities, especially for health services, education, economic development and social connectivity.
ALGA’s 2021 National State of the Assets showed one in 10 local government assets need significant attention, and three in every 100 assets may need to be replaced. Specifically for regional airports, the report showed the value of local government airport assets in poor condition has increased.
Cr Scott said: “Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet for the growing challenges faced by local councils and communities.
“But increasing untied funding and support to local government is absolutely critical.
“And this is something we’ve been strongly pushing with the Federal Government, who have a renewed focus on the importance of partnering with councils.
“For the vast majority of councils in Australia, having extra funding and support – especially FA Grants – has never been so critical in these tough economic times.”