Terminal to add ‘440 jobs’

UP AND AWAY: Avalon Airport chief Justin Giddings shows international terminal plans to Treasurer Scott Morrison and MP Sarah Henderson.

Around 440 jobs are on the way to the Geelong region after work started on building Avalon Airport’s international terminal, according to federal Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Mr Morrison officially launched the terminal’s construction last Friday, heralding a “landmark boost” for the region’s economy.

His government’s 2018 budget allocated $20 million to the project ahead of AirAsia relocating its Melbourne operations to Avalon later this.

AirAsiaX Malaysia aims to operate twice-daily flights between Avalon and Kuala Lumpur, which would offer flight links to more than 130 other international destinations.

About 400,000 passengers would pass through the terminal annually, Mr Morrison said.

The construction phase would provide more than 80 jobs but the international flights would deliver another 190 full-time at the airport and a further 170 in the surrounding region, he said.

The additional 170 jobs would flow from new opportunities in tourism and exports such as fresh food.

Mr Morrison hoped the terminal would also provide a “catalyst for more international airlines” at Avalon.

He credited the delivery of the terminal funding to Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson, who faces a difficult battle retaining her seat at the next federal election after proposed boundary realignments.

Ms Henderson welcomed the start of construction.

“This project is a huge boost for our region’s economy and is the start of great things to come,” she said.

“I thank the Treasurer for making this $20 million commitment to the Avalon Airport so that we have the facilities needed to welcome and process international visitors.”

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