Maranoa Regional Council. Photo: Lachlan Berlin
Maranoa Regional Council. Photo: Lachlan Berlin

‘WORLD CLASS’: Roma to welcome dozens of planes for major event

The Outback Air Race that travels throughout the remote Australian outback to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) will be landing in Roma.

In the council meeting on February 10 in Injune, mayor Tyson Golder and councillor Cameron O’Neil spoke highly of the event, saying Roma has a world class regional airport and saleyards and it will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase it to visitors.

According to the council agenda, since 1996, competitors and spectators have raised over $3 million as each team fundraises for the RFDS in the 12 months leading up to the race.

Funds go towards outfitting RFDS aircraft with essential medical equipment, vital for treating sick and injured patients across Australia.

The race is held every three years and is run entirely by volunteers and has become so popular among the light aircraft flying community that this year’s event was fully booked out with 42 teams signing up.

They hope to raise $600,000.

This year’s race commences in Darwin and finishes in Coffs Harbour with a stop over in Roma.

The advice given to councillors was that the potential tourism exposure for the area will be considerable and with an RFDS base in Roma, it will, directly and indirectly, benefit from the race’s stopover and its fundraising efforts.

It was advised council support the race and work with the event conveners to gain as much tourism exposure and benefit for the region as possible.

There will be dinner at the Roma Saleyards on Wednesday September 9 and council will be waiving the airport charges up to the value of $1000.

Councillor O’Neil said it’s important council attracts events into the Maranoa to stimulate the economy and having the aerodrome hold this event is “fantastic”.

“We’ve got a world class regional airport and something we should be proud of,” Cr O’Neil said.

“And we have world class saleyards and to be used by these particular visitors is a wonderful opportunity to showcase what we have to offer.

“To use Café 54 for catering, is a wonderful addition as well which will be supporting local businesses.”

In a similar sentiment, councillor Golder said “there has been zero cost to land in Roma for a minimum amount of towage for a light aircraft, so we want people to fly in and use our airports”.

“Would like to thank the manager of the airports, there’s extra workload and really appreciate what you’ll be doing to make these people welcome.”

The motion was voted in favour by all nine councillors.


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