The Federal Government has finally decided to build the Darwin Airport, a decision which is likely to anger the local community and critics, but is expected to make little difference to the cost of the project.
The decision to build at the site at the southern end of the city’s CBD, just one kilometre from the Darwin International Airport, has been controversial.
But it is expected the Federal government will be able to keep the airport in the local area, despite the criticism.
“The project has been a very divisive issue for a number of reasons,” Federal Minister for Public Transport Tim Fischer said.
He said the airport was a project which had had the support of all the parties involved.
Mr Fischer said he had been in contact with the city of Darwin and had consulted with locals on the site.
His department has spent $2 million on the airport since it was first proposed in 2005.
Darwin has a population of more than 1.2 million, with a total of 1.7 million people living in Darwin.
Local residents are unhappy about the airport, but are not the only ones who want it to stay.
In November, the local government voted in favour of a motion to stop the development of the airport.
There have been protests in the CBD of the proposal, and a number have been put on hold.
It is not yet clear if the Federal Labor Government will follow through with its plan to develop the airport at the Darwin site.
“We will be working through all options to ensure we can get it done and get the community back to work,” Mr Fischer said, adding the Government was committed to keeping the airport “in Darwin”.
He confirmed the airport would be part of the $25 billion package to build an airport at Karratha in Victoria, and that it was the only project to be developed by the federal government in the past two years.
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