August 24, 2023

Maryborough’s rich aviation history has been given a boost thanks to two Federal Government grants, Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien announced today.

Mr O’Brien visited the Maryborough Military Aviation Museum at the Maryborough Airport to congratulate the Museum on their projects.

The Maryborough Military Aviation Museum received $20,000 from Round 8 of the Stronger Communities Program to construct a space to store their extensive collection of over 300 items showcasing the airport’s history as a bustling Royal Australian Airforce Air Station where wireless air gunners, navigators, and the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force trained.

“This funding is being used to help preserve and promote the airport’s wartime heritage, and highlight the important role the facility and the service men and women who were stationed there played during World War II,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Aviation Museum also received $880 from the Australian Government’s Saluting Their Service Veteran Wellbeing Grants program, to install two bronze plaques at the Maryborough Cenotaph.

“The plaques recognise and commemorate the RAAF Station sited at the Airport, and the women of the RAAF and RAN Medical Services and their service between WWII and the Vietnam War”, Mr O’Brien said.

Saluting Their Service funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs supports projects and activities that commemorate the service and sacrifice of Australia’s military personnel in wars, conflicts, and peace operations.

“Maryborough has a proud military history, and the former Coalition Government strongly supported the Military Aviation Museum, the Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial, and the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum, to ensure the service, sacrifice and stories of our veterans are commemorated and preserved for future generations,” Mr O’Brien said.

President Jenny Elliot explained that the Maryborough Military Aviation Museum was founded in 2016 with the aim of developing a precinct to preserve and display the airport’s wartime heritage.

“The Museum will add to, and enhance, the Fraser Coast Military Trail’s range of attractions that encourage visitors to the region,” Mrs Elliot said.

“This funding will allow us to build a space to securely store our collection, which is currently undergoing restoration in preparation for display once we have the museum complex constructed.”

“Small grants can make a big difference in regional communities, and I am looking forward to seeing the impact this funding has on the development of the Museum,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien said the former Coalition Government introduced the Stronger Communities Program, which provided grants of between $2,500 and $20,000 to community organisations and local governments for small capital projects that deliver social benefits for local communities.

“Unfortunately, The Stronger Communities Program was discontinued in the Labor Government’s May 2023 Budget and replaced by the Growing Regions Program, which has grants available from $500,000 up to $15 million, but a 50 per cent co-contribution is required by the applicant.”

With the Growing Regions Program’s minimum grant threshold set so high at $500,000, many local and community organisations will be ineligible to apply for this funding,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien also said the Liberal and National Coalition is calling on the Government to deliver a regional development program that can help local community, sporting, and ex-service organisations to deliver small scale projects and provide more opportunities in their local communities.


In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.