Mayoral candidate for the Sunshine Coast Mark Jamieson today clarified his position in relation to the ownership of the Sunshine Coast Airport , one of the topics canvassed at last week’s Mayoral Forum.
“The Sunshine Coast Airport is a valuable asset not only to the Coast’s aviation industry, but the broader community as well and I do not support the sale of the Airport.” Mayoral candidate Mark Jamieson said today
“But I also do not support the notion that the private sector does not have a significant role to play in further developing the Airport’s infrastructure, including current stakeholders who I understand are yet to be consulted.” He added
“Contrary to popular belief, the Airport is mostly owned by the State Government, and the Council is the State’s appointed trustee. Unless the State is prepared to give the Airport to the Council, the Council cannot sell the Airport anyway”. Mr. Jamieson added
“It is highly unlikely the State government would ever give the Airport to the Council, for many reasons, not least of which is transport security. A discussion, therefore, about selling the Airport is currently irrelevant”. He said
Mr. Jamieson said “Reliance on nothing but State or Commonwealth Government funding for a new runway in the current economic climate is pure folly. The ALP has run the State and Commonwealth Governments into massive debt, and an ALP Mayor is likely to do much the same to this Council”.
“The Council must take some ownership of the airport capacity issue, and attempt to generate solutions, whilst still working on the faint hope a State or Commonwealth Government might one day, in an improved economic climate give the Council such an enormous grant.” He added
“The Council should simultaneously pursue commercial options, in particular, entering into a trustee lease of the Airport to a private enterprise, which requires the permission of the State government.” Mr Jamieson said
“Terms in the lease will need to be negotiated to ensure the private operator takes financial responsibility in whole or in part for the improvement of the Airport’s infrastructure, including the upgrade of the east-west runway, if proven viable”. He said
Mr Jamieson said “It will be incumbent on the trustee lessee to vigorously pursue revenue opportunities across the entire Airport precinct, in order to pay for the cost of the Airport infrastructure upgrades. This can only lead to the further construction of aviation and allied industries in the Airport precinct, which is what we want to happen”.
“These arrangements are not unique. Similar arrangements exist in most of the Nation’s major Airports, including Brisbane Airport, where industrial, commercial, accommodation and retail uses are being rapidly constructed”. Mr. Jamieson concluded