Regarding Wagga Airport, with 50-plus years in aviation offshore and in Wagga in senior management roles, I make the following points.
Simply put, any business owner at Wagga Airport has great difficulty borrowing investment funds because of the lack of financial security against any loan needed for development.
This is caused by structural issues related to the airport's lease arrangement from the Department of Defence to Wagga Wagga City Council and subsequent sub-leases to tenants as business operators.
It's very curious why Wagga Airport remains shackled by the Department of Defence.
A section of the airport needs to be released for commercial development and hence public ownership.
This would offer current and future businesses at the airport security of tenure, enhancing value and opportunities.
A business park would follow quickly with the likes of rental car firms, courier companies, freight forwarders etc.
The current airport's runway length is insufficient to handle larger aircraft adding yet another impediment to our city and region's development.
What's even stranger is if Wagga Airport is so strategically important in the defence of the country, then why has Defence not upgraded the runway to be able to accept large transport aircraft?
On baggage handling, joke status but not funny.
As a regular airport user, it compares with Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea.
They also collect baggage from an outdoor shelf. Like them, ours is truly Third World, with associated potential security implications.
It's well below standard, insulting to airport users, locals and visitors alike.
The $20 million promised won't go far, a pittance for what is really needed.
Wagga and our region needs an international standard airport.
We are approaching 100,000 population in the next decade or two and service a population twice that size from our region.
Our airport, with the right vision and planning, could easily become a regional travel hub and centre of aviation excellence.
Planning needs to start today as our city is well behind other comparable locations around the nation.
There are hundreds of jobs waiting to be filled, what a city we would be.
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Brian Pomeroy continues his seemingly endless defence of a stale, corrupt, two-party system of government which no longer serves the nation's best interests.
Standing in the shadows fear mongering over the democratic process and an imaginary "threat" posed by parties such as the Greens and independents is ultimately a fruitless quixotic exercise.
Times are changing, and the Coalition and Labor are not keeping up.
Australia is facing catastrophic climate change, the ever-increasing cost-of-living is hitting families hard, there are crises in aged care, child care, housing and the provision of dental and mental health services, to name a few, whilst wage stagnation has seen families forced to survive on poverty wages.
Young people are disenchanted with politicians and a short-sighed system of government which emphasises politics over people and refuses to be accountable.
There is nothing to fear, however, for the Greens, independents and other parties reflect our evolving democracy and a return to the 'fair-go' principle so often referred to by those in power, but not practiced.
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