The dream of Newcastle Airport becoming an international tourism hub is one step closer following today’s announcement that Virgin Australia will soon fly direct from Williamtown to New Zealand.
Paterson MP Meryl Swanson said she was delighted by the news and praised Newcastle Airport CEO Peter Cock for his vision.
“A healthy, growing airport is a huge boon to our region with far-reaching economic potential in countless areas – tourism, transport, business, employment and industry, to name a few,” Ms Swanson said.
“I’ve worked closely with Newcastle Airport CEO Peter Cock throughout the past two years and I’m proud that I’ve been able to successfully advocate in support of his plans to make Newcastle Airport bigger and better.”
Ms Swanson said that she had spoken to Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti about the potential for international flights from Newcastle Airport and facilitated a connection between Mr Borghetti and Mr Cock.
Ms Swanson and Labor colleague Sharon Claydon MP, Member for Newcastle, lobbied Cabinet ministers ahead of their decision to give direct flights from Newcastle Airport to New Zealand the go-ahead.
“I thank the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and his Cabinet colleagues for their decision to support regional Australia and my electorate,” Ms Swanson said.
Ms Swanson said that the development of Newcastle Airport’s international terminal, which was completed in 2017, was an example of catalytic investment – one of the key forms of regional investment recommended in the newly released House of Representatives report into Regional Development and Decentralisation.
“As deputy chair of the RDD Select Committee I am acutely aware that we need to invest in our regions if we are going to improve their appeal to workers and entrepreneurs. We must also support facilities and infrastructure that attract further investment,” Ms Swanson said.