Warracknabeal, Hopetoun aerodrome bids downgraded

YARRIAMBIACK Shire Council will downgrade funding submissions to upgrade aerodromes at Warracknabeal and Hopetoun.

Director of infrastructure and planning James Magee met Department of Aviation representatives on Thursday to discuss possible funding.

Council had originally applied for $6 million to upgrade Warracknabeal, Hopetoun and Patchewollock aerodromes.

Mr Magee said the department told council to refine its applications to improve its chances of being approved.

"We decided we would submit an application for lighting at Warracknabeal Aerodrome worth $250,000," he said. "We were also told we should submit an application for about $1 million to reconstruct the sealed runway at Hopetoun.

"We agreed council would put in $450,000 for this project over three years and the funding from the State Government, if successful, would also be over three years."

Mr Magee said council was told not to apply for money for Patchewollock Aerodrome until it heard the outcome of the other two projects.

He said no timeline was given for when the applications could be approved.

"They are important to the shire if we want an ambulance, we need an aerodrome," Mr Magee said.

"All our aerodromes are more than 40 years old and are getting to the point where reconstruction or heavy maintenance is required.

"Lighting systems still work but they need to be brought up to modern standards, so we need to renew or replace the systems.

"The sealed runways are like roads and have a life span of about 40 to 50 years then they start to get out of shape and crack."

Mr Magee said private aviation and aero clubs all used Warracknabeal Aerodrome.

"All three are also used by crop sprayers," he said

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