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Some of the Channel Country’s unique destinations include Hell Hole Gorge National Park which is best known for its waterholes, wildflowers and rock wallabies. The Eromanga Natural History Museum is home to Australia’s largest dinosaur fossil discoveries. Some of the Channel Country’s unique destinations include Hell Hole Gorge National Park which is best known for its waterholes, wildflowers and rock wallabies. The Eromanga Natural History Museum is home to Australia’s largest dinosaur fossil discoveries.

Built with $1 million in funding assistance from the Works for Queensland (W4Q) program, the new Quilpie Airport terminal and refueling facility is ready to take off as a gateway to the unique Channel Country of south west Queensland.

The project has also provided a boost for the local economy, with the successful contractor employing local people and doing business with local traders wherever possible during the nine-month build of the old terminal.

Under the 2016-2017 W4Q program, $200 million was allocated to 65 councils throughout regional Queensland to complete more than 700 projects.

Quilpie Shire Council CEO, Dave Burges, said it was time for the old terminal building, which had been built in the 1950s, to go.

‘It had just one room, which in this day and age is not suitable to cater for an increase in visitors or for staff to provide the kind of customer service that is expected,‘ he said.

‘The council was pleased that the W4Q Program was available and we were successful in our application.’

Mr Burges said locals, businesses and tourism operators were very optimistic that more opportunities would be created for the region with regular weekly flights operated by Regional Express (REX) airlines and an increase in mustering helicopters and light planes stopping to refuel at Quilpie.

‘We have so many great tourism attractions here, including Hell Hole Gorge National Park and the Eromanga Natural History Museum, which is home to Australia’s largest dinosaur – Cooper,’ he said.

‘We would like to see more aircraft and more tourists. Quilpie is a very convenient place for people to refuel on their way to Birdsville for the Big Red Bash in July and the races in September.’

Mr Burges said the Quilpie Shire Council intended to release an economic and development strategy later this year to create more jobs and maximise economic growth.

‘The Quilpie Shire has a lot to offer with its history and natural attractions and we intend to promote them as much as possible,’ he said.

The new airport terminal will be officially opened in May this year by the Queensland Governor, the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC. The council is currently reviewing expressions of interests from artists to showcase artwork at the terminal.

The W4Q program is now a $600 million funding program commencing in 2016-17 until 2020-21 and is administered by the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs. It supports regional councils to undertake job-creating maintenance and minor infrastructure projects.