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Council pledges $15,000 to assist return of passenger air

2 February 2017

Southern Grampians Shire Council has pledged to purchase $15,000 worth of pre-paid tickets to help secure the return of a passenger air service between Melbourne and Hamilton.

Council recognises the important economic and social benefits an air service provides and continues to advocate strongly to achieve this goal, said Mayor Cr Mary-Ann Brown.

“We are committed to supporting the community in attempting to bring passenger air services back to Hamilton airport. Improved connections to the State’s capital can only support the regional centre service role that Hamilton provides as well as provide new economic and social opportunities for the Greater Hamilton region.

Council’s CEO Mr Michael Tudball said “there are real efficiencies which can be gained by utilising air travel for trips to Melbourne, rather than travelling by vehicle, particularly when considering factors such as staff time and productivity as well as avoiding the costs associated with overnight accommodation and meals.

“Staff and Councillors are often required in Melbourne to further the interests of our region and the opportunity to utilise air travel will definitely help our operational efficiencies, he said.

Launch of the campaign to return passenger air to Hamilton occurred early in December, and so far a quarter of the $300,000 needed to underwrite the return has been realised.

Cr Brown said Council is greatly encouraged by the initial support for the trial return service, but it needs wider community support to make it a reality.

“Together with the State and Federal Governments, Council has made significant investment over the last 18 months to future proof the Hamilton Airport. We have the infrastructure in place, we have an excellent facility and our officers have worked hard over the last 12 months to attract new business. Now we need the financial investment from our community, our industry leaders and business owners, and a commitment to regular usage to make it happen.

“We are doing everything that we can to ensure this trial happens and we implore others to get on-board and support this trial” Cr Brown said.

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