Airport is back on radar
STEPHEN Schwarten says he's changed his mind about selling Rockhampton Airport.
The Rockhampton councillor proposed selling it back in 2008, but now he's advocating “a conversation with the community” about how it can provide a better return to ratepayers.
He said it's ludicrous an asset worth $200 million makes such a small contribution to council coffers.
“If we sell it and invest the proceeds we would make more in interest each year than it generates in income,” he told his colleagues during a debate yesterday on the future of the council-owned airport.
“We need to have a full discussion with the community about possibilities and benefits of corporatisation.”
Council officers are advocating splitting the airport away from direct council control.
Airport director David Blackwell said that after seven years in charge he was still struggling to understand the council's intent for the airport and he was looking for guidance.
But Cr Graeme Brady, who is chairman of the business enterprise committee which runs it, said there was no need to rush a decision.
“We can take 12 months if we need to,” he said after Cr Cherie Rutherford had raised concerns about councillors losing control.