Business leaders share concerns on flight school proposal
THE Fraser Coast's business leaders have questioned the proposal for Qantas' new pilot training school to be based on here.
It follows revelations the Fraser Coast was in the running to be considered as the home of the academy, which would train hundreds of pilots a year when established.
But the proposal was submitted as a joint collaboration with the neighbouring Bundaberg Regional Council.
Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook said the joint submission was never disclosed with the community in the lead-up to the announcement.
She said details of the proposal, which, if successful, would require millions spent on supporting infrastructure, had still not been revealed.
"What concerns me with the submission is that I don't see how going with Bundaberg gives us any real good chance the academy will be located on the Fraser Coast," Ms Holebrook said.
"If we do get accepted, I don't see how we'll be able to share the load with Bundaberg, given we have two airports that are acceptable for use."
Maryborough Chamber of Commerce president Lance Stone echoed similar criticisms, saying he was never briefed on the proposal despite being a member of the region's aviation advisory committee.
"The Maryborough Chamber submitted a letter of support for the council's proposal, but we weren't told it was a joint submission at all," Mr Stone said.
"My misgivings are that the flight school would be located in Bundaberg, and the Fraser Coast wouldn't receive one iota of income."
But aviation councillor Paul Truscott said the proposal clearly advocated for the airports in Hervey Bay and Maryborough to be considered as the major hub.
"It's a bit premature to jump to conclusions without knowing where we stand with Qantas," Cr Truscott said.
"Obviously the council's goal is to see our local airports become the leading airports for this development."