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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Treasurer announces successful sale of Mackay airport

    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Treasurer announces successful sale of Mackay airport

    21 November 08

    Treasurer Andrew Fraser has today announced that $208.8 million will be channelled directly into the reconstruction of the Mackay Base Hospital after the successful sale of the Mackay Airport.

    Mr Fraser said that the airport operating company will be sold to a consortium comprising The Private Capital Group’s The Infrastructure Fund which is managed by Hastings, Perron Investments and Westpac Banking Corporation, with Queensland Airports Limited as a specialist advisor, following the successful conclusion of a competitive bid process.

    “This is a great result for the people of the Mackay region and an excellent outcome for the future of health services in the area,’’ he said.

    “The proceeds from this sale will now be channelled directly into redeveloping the Mackay Hospital.

    “We haven’t waited until the sale to start the ball rolling on this project – instead we provisioned money in the budget to start preliminary work.

    “I have said all along that I believe governments should be in the business of managing hospitals, not owning airports. This hospital is absolutely essential not only for the current Mackay residents but also to support future population growth.’’

    Member for Mackay Tim Mulherin said: “This announcement delivers on our unwavering commitment to the Mackay region.

    “The new Mackay hospital is being built at a budgeted cost of more than $405 million, as part of the Mackay Health master plan.

    “I attended a meeting today with Hospital management to be updated on the redevelopment and it is progressing well.

    “The sale is a vote of confidence in the future of Mackay,’’ Mr Mulherin said.

    Mr Fraser said: ‘’This is a great outcome for Queensland taxpayers, particularly in the current economic climate, and reflects the quality and growth prospects of Mackay Airport.

    “The successful consortium also has a strong track record of successful airport operation in regional Queensland – with existing interests in Gold Coast, Townsville and Mount Isa airports.

    Under the terms of the sale agreement, the consortium will operate the airport under a long term lease from the State, which will continue to own the land and airport infrastructure.

    “I congratulate the consortium on the success of their bid and I am confident in their ability to grow the airport for the benefit of the tourism and mining industries, other business travellers and the people of Mackay.’’

    Mr Fraser said the sale of Mackay Airport followed the successful completion of the sale of the State’s interest in Brisbane Airport earlier this month for $289.4 million.
    “The sale of these two airports reflects the high quality of these assets and shows that investors still have confidence in the long term growth of Queensland.
    Mr Fraser said that the Cairns Airport sale process, which is running in parallel with the Mackay Airport transaction, was also well advanced.

    Media enquiries: Treasurer’s office – 3224 6361 or 3224 5982