MOUNT Gambier Chamber of Commerce and local government leaders were among those who called for a community fare to be introduced for flights connecting the city to Adelaide and
Chamber president Lynette Martin OAM – who was also invited to yesterday’s closed meeting of regional stakeholders- told yesterday’s senate inquiry the community fare scheme would be welcomed by the travelling public.
“We encourage Rex to offer Mount Gambier a community airfare like they have brokered with several regional airports in Australia,” Ms Martin said.
“We believe more affordable airfares will see more people availing themselves of the service Rex offers, which in turn would grow Rex’s business.”
The chamber revealed the “price factor” was pushing people – including the business sector – out of the airline’s market.
“Getting those community fares is going to be a top priority,” chamber deputy president Ben Hood said.
Limestone Coast LGA executive officer Dominic Testoni also backed calls for lower fares, particularly a community fare partnership.
He said there were examples of community fare programs across regional Australia that were working well.
Mr Testoni said one of the problems was people who needed to travel for emergencies were paying up to “$1000 per round trip”.
“That’s one reason why people choose to drive rather than fly,” he said.
Speaking at the inquiry, Mount Gambier City Council elected member Ian Von Stanke said affordable airfares were crucial.
He said people were choosing to drive because of airfare costs.
“There is also a lot of pressure on the road infrastructure system,” Cr Von Stanke said.
Limestone Coast LGA president Erika Vickery welcomed yesterday’s meeting of all stakeholders.