Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has welcomed announcements that Tamworth and Armidale airports will receive funding from the Coalition Government in the 2018 Budget as part of a $50.1 million commitment to upgrade security screening equipment at regional airports across Australia.
These changes form part of a broader $294 million package of measures to strengthen security at airports and international mail and air cargo facilities across the country.
Aviation remains an attractive target for terrorists, and while we already have a strong and comprehensive aviation security framework, it is essential that we remain ahead of the evolving threat.
Mr Joyce said while the first priority for the Coalition Government is and will always be to keep Australians safe and secure, the funding for extra security complements existing federally-supported infrastructure upgrades at the two busy New England airports.
“Regional aviation is critical to our communities and the economy - that’s why we have invested in projects like a new $2 million new instrument landing system at Tamworth and more than $3.5 million toward upgrades at Armidale airport,” Mr Joyce said. “We now also have more funding for important security upgrades at these airports in the heart of the New England, ensuring passengers will continue to remain safe and that our aviation sector remains protected from the constantly evolving threat of terrorism.”
In addition to the upgraded screening technology, the Coalition Government is also increasing the training requirements for security screeners at airports. Screeners will need to meet new national requirements, and pass an accreditation test each year.
“These changes to screener training will work hand in hand with the upgrades to screening equipment to make sure our passenger, baggage and cargo screening remains as effective as it can possibly be,” Mr Joyce said.