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Hervey Bay aviation industry precinct taking off

15 April, 2019

A Hervey Bay aviation precinct that will help grow the local economy and create hundreds of new jobs is taking off with Fraser Coast Regional Council today awarding a $7.1 million tender for civil construction works at the site.

The decision to award the tender for civil construction works to Shadforths Civil Pty Ltd was made at a special Council meeting today, subject to the finalisation of a land sale contract with Red Diamond Pty Ltd, the parent company of Astro Aero.

Astro Aero is building a high-tech aircraft manufacturing facility at the airport. 

Acting Mayor Darren Everard said the establishment of aeronautical manufacturing would help boost the region’s economic and manufacturing base by bringing additional high tech industries to the Fraser Coast.

“The Fraser Coast Regional Council is determined to ensure our region has a strong, diversified and resilient economy, and the development of this aviation precinct is an important part of that vision,” he said.

“We are working with Astro Aero as the foundation investment at the Avion Aviation Industry precinct, which will be a catalyst for even more new, innovative, job-creating advanced manufacturing businesses in the region.

“Preliminary work has already been underway at the 12 hectare site adjacent to the Hervey Bay airport, and this new tender is for a range of civil works including storm water drainage, kerb and channelling, sewer and water supply, road surfacing and bulk earth works.

“It is anticipated these works will start this month and be completed by the end of June.”

Astro Aero Programme Manager Francois van Teijlingen welcomed the commencement of civil works at the Hervey Bay Airport precinct.

“Astro Aero is excited to be the first resident at the precinct, which promises to be a great location for the aviation industry in coming years,” he said.

Astro Aero’s manufacturing facility will produce an innovative aircraft specifically to target freight movements in regional and remote locations.

The facility will create up to 200 long term and highly skilled jobs, generating more than $16 million in direct annual wages and salaries once in production.

Cr Everard said the Fraser Coast was strategically positioned for industries to invest and grow. 

“The development of the Avion precinct is an example of how Council is getting on with the job of building better communities and showing our support for innovative businesses that can create long term employment opportunities,” he said.

Cr Everard said a portion of the project had been funded with a $9.19 million grant through the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund: Infrastructure Projects Stream.

“The Infrastructure Projects Stream supports projects for new infrastructure or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas,” he said.