Australia: Chevron-sponsored airport now operational

Western Australia’s Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett has today opened the redeveloped Onslow Airport, saying this important regional infrastructure project would allow the local community to access flights in and out of town.

“This $49 million project was an immense undertaking for the Shire of Ashburton, and its completion is a significant breakthrough for Onslow residents who have, until recently, had to drive three hours to Karratha to access air travel,” Barnett said.

“The airport is now a state-of-the-art facility with a new terminal equipped with security screening, a runway capable of landing large jets, and community access to direct flights to Perth.”

$30 million from Wheatstone

The project received $30 million in funding from the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project, a liquefied natural gas project under construction 12 kilometres from Onslow.

The State Government and Chevron provided an additional $13 million from the Onslow Community Development Fund to be used to complete the airport project. The rest of the project was funded through the Shire of Ashburton.

The fund was established in 2011 through Wheatstone’s State Development Agreement, with $10 million through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program and $5 million from Chevron.

The Wheatstone Project is more than 65 percent complete. At the LNG plant site, equipment and modules continue to be delivered and installed. Once operational, the plant will be fed by gas from the Wheatstone, Iago, Julimar and Brunello offshore gas fields.

“This investment recognises that a high-quality airport is important both for the Wheatstone project and for the overall amenity of a remote town like Onslow,” the Premier said.

“Together, the Wheatstone Joint Venture and the State Government are making an unprecedented investment in Onslow, funding new critical and social infrastructure, and ensuring the town can meet the challenges of population growth.”

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said aviation played a vital role in supporting regional growth, and Royalties for Regions supported the State Government’s commitment to improving regional aviation infrastructure and airport services.

“This new facility is an important part of Onslow’s economic infrastructure, and its completion opens up new opportunities for tourism and business in and around Onslow, as well as boosting recreational opportunities for the local community,” Redman said.

“This is a fantastic asset for the Onslow community and I’m proud Royalties for Regions is continuing to make regional Western Australia a great place to live, work and visit.”