A $1.54 million upgrade at the Clarence Valley Regional Airport will ensure local infrastructure and essential services can continue to operate effectively during emergencies in the region.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan met with Clarence Valley Council (CVC) Mayor Ian Tiley and local councillors on site last week for the official announcement, on a day where the weather was “very different to what it was two years ago.”
“We had bushfires which had been raging for months and this whole area was full of smoke,” Mr Hogan said.
“What we’re announcing with the $1.54 million is an upgrade of the water storage capability of the airport, and for a new reservoir to be built so aircrafts have access to more water.”
Currently, the airport dam holds 0.5ML with a majority of water used during emergencies being transported to the location.
Mr Hogan said the funding will be used to install a 150mm water main with a 0.2ML reservoir on location.
A major regional base for aerial firefighting, more than 1.66ML of water was used during the Black Summer Bushfires, with Mayor Ian Tiley revealing “a lot of time and money was spent carting water 13km from Grafton” to support aerial fire-fighting units.
He said the upgrade will allow the Clarence Valley Regional Airport to have access to a water main which services the nearby Clarence Correctional Centre (CCC) 7km away, providing emergency services with better resources and saving valuable time when responding to call outs.
“This upgrade will provide a far better capacity to hit fires harder and quicker,” he said.
“This is about the safety of our community and it’s a much-needed upgrade,” Mr Hogan added.
Councillor Allison Whaites-Bryant was extremely proud to be present for the announcement on February 25.
Describing the airport as a great asset for the community, she said the $1.54 million upgrade is about growth for the Clarence Valley community.
“We definitely need that,” she said.
“This upgrade is going to help with the expansion of the airport so we can support other SES and emergency services too.
“It’s good for our community to help keep us safe during fires and floods.”
Mayor Tiley said the project was identified following hydraulic modelling of Council’s water reticulation system.
Funding was provided through the Federal Government’s Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program.