Mareeba Shire Council is soaring closer to completing the region’s most anticipated aviation facility, with the next two stages of the Mareeba Airport Upgrade Project set to take off.

Council recently awarded a contract for the construction of airside infrastructure to local company FGF Developments Pty Ltd.

Mareeba Mayor Tom Gilmore said the $14 million contract consists of the extension of the aviation commercial precinct (Stage 1) and airside works (Stage 2).

“The award of this tender is without a doubt the most significant milestone to date in the reconstruction of this World War II airstrip. The project is anticipated to support the transformation of the Mareeba Airport into a major pilot training and aircraft maintenance facility – probably the most important facility of its kind in northern Australia,” Cr Gilmore said.

The Mareeba Airport Upgrade Project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($5 million) and the Queensland Government ($13 million) and is being delivered by Mareeba Shire Council.
“This redevelopment is a result of generous contributions from the Australian Government and Queensland Government without which the redevelopment would not and could not have ever proceeded,” Cr Gilmore said.

“On behalf of the community, I offer my sincere thanks to both governments for their input and their cooperation as we move towards the award of this tender.”

Northern-based Federal Government Senator Ian Macdonald said the work is an important milestone. “This initiative will give the Mareeba Airport a new lease of life and ensure future pilots in North and Far North Queensland have access to new and improved training facilities.”

The key project deliverables include a 52-lot aviation commercial precinct, resurfacing the existing runway, upgrade to airfield lighting, construction of new taxiways and upgrades to surrounding roads, drainage, lighting and airport fencing.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the Queensland Government was proud to be working with Mareeba Shire Council on an important project set to deliver enduring regional benefits driving economic development, jobs growth and benefits for Far North Queenslanders.

“This project is building on the region’s existing strengths in aviation and will help position Mareeba as an important provider of aviation services, pilot training and maintenance in Far North Queensland,” she said.

“Awarding this tender marks an important milestone in the delivery of this project and I look forward to seeing the economic benefits for Mareeba realised once it’s completed.”

Cr Gilmore said Council is looking forward to working with FGF Developments. “The successful tenderer, which is of course a local firm and is well understood to be capable of the scope of works required to be undertaken. We are proud to partner with FGF and congratulate the company on the successful outcome,” he said.

Company Director Blue Williams said FGF was excited to be part of such an important project. “We are looking forward to working with the Mareeba Shire Council on this multi-million-dollar upgrade which will see further job creation and investment opportunities in regional areas such as Mareeba,” Mr Williams said.

Cr Gilmore said the project had been a long-term dream of Council to have this relic of the war turned into a nursery for job creation for the community. “It is fair to say that we are unlikely to see a development of this magnitude again in Far North Queensland,” he said.

“The process leading to the awarding of this tender has been long and complex, and I thank the Mareeba Shire Council staff and those departmental staff both in Brisbane and Canberra who have been working diligently to ensure we progressed to this point with minimal disruption.

“I am thrilled to see these next stages of the project get underway,” Cr Gilmore concluded.