Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernal has for the first time signalled possible support for giving Busselton Airport a proper passenger terminal while rejecting claims incoming arrivals on Jetstar flights from Melbourne are grumbling about the experience. Calls to the Times as well as feedback from Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, backed up by flight service handlers and the Margaret River-Busselton Tourism Association, showed some passengers on the flights complained about processing times as well as an underwhelming experience landing in Busselton from the swanky east coast. The latest feedback follows several years of argy bargy around funding for the terminal, which is also desired by the City of Busselton. Mayor Grant Henley previously told the Times the terminal was estimated to cost $15 million and “should be paid for by the State” because of funds previously taken from the airport project. Ms MacTiernan was quick to note the State Government would not invest extra millions at the airport for the sake of three Government-subsidised flights per week. But “once we have established the sustainability of these flights and reviewed the prospects for any further routes or the intensification of this route, then we could consider further terminal works,” the Minister said. “This is something we could start looking at in the second half of next year.” Ms MacTiernan rejected anecdotal passenger feedback, but Ms Mettam reported “significant delays in check-in and turn-around times”. “It’s essential the McGowan Government focuses on diversifying the economy, and the short-sighted decision to rip the terminal funding out of the airport when coming to Government is already compromising the tourism experience,” she said. “I urge the McGowan Government to rethink withholding the funds for this terminal and work with the City to support a short term and more permanent solution.” MRBTA co-chief executive Sharna Kearney welcomed the strong demand for the new route — which took two years to eventuate due to COVID-19 disruptions — but also cited delays without a more established terminal. “It is clear that the terminal is constraining the ability to efficiently process passengers and their luggage,” she said. “Work is currently under way to address the immediate issues, but it is difficult to see how the terminal will be fit for purpose as FIFO and RPT (regular passenger transport) services continue to grow, as they inevitably will.” Mr Henley previously said interest in direct flights from South-East Asia had grown, but a facility which could include Customs and quarantine was an essential step.