A CONSTRUCTIVE meeting held today between Roads and Freight Minister Duncan Gay and Armidale Dumaresq Council could be the catalyst for a deal which would see the Armidale Regional Airport industrial subdivision development proceed, according to Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.
Mr Marshall convened the meeting between the Minister and Armidale Mayor Laurie Bishop and General Manager Glenn Wilcox at the airport. Details of the development plans were discussed, including both a council and a private industrial development, significant redevelopment of the airport runway, terminal, carparking and associated facilities.
“Council approached me because the sticking point for these significant developments is the construction of a new large roundabout, valued at around $3 million, on the New England Highway,” Mr Marshall said. “Council is seeking support to assist with this cost.”
The roundabout, to be located about 500 metres south of the existing entrance to the airport, would facilitate traffic access to council’s subdivision, the privately owned industrial land on the eastern side of the highway, Armidale Regional Airport and Saumarez Homestead.
“An anticipated increase in traffic activity associated with the development and passenger numbers growth through the airport necessitates the construction of the roundabout to control the number of entry and exit points for traffic and to ensure safety along the highway,” Mr Marshall said.
Mr Marshall described today’s meeting as “very positive” and said the Minister agreed to assess the proposal further.
“The Minister likes the overall project and appreciates the potential benefits to the local Armidale economy and the wider region,” he said.
“There are many competing demands on the State’s capital roads funding and while this is a significant amount of money, I believe it is worthwhile project.
“The Minister will now assess council’s proposal in further detail and I will continue to work with him and pursue this matter on behalf of council and the community.”
Armidale Dumaresq Council will also be requesting a meeting with Federal MP Barnaby Joyce to seek support from the Commonwealth Government.