$29.7m for he­li­copter

Countryman - - WOOL -

Fol­low­ing sig­nif­i­cant pres­sure from in­dus­try and the wider WA com­mu­nity, $29.7 mil­lion in fund­ing for the Bunbury RAC Res­cue He­li­copter has been al­lo­cated by the State Govern­ment to keep the ser­vice op­er­a­tional be­yond the end of the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year.

The Bunbury RAC Res­cue He­li­copter, which faced the chop due to the pre­vi­ous State Govern­ment fail­ing to com­mit fund­ing past June 2018, was launched in early 2016, and has had more than 140 mis­sions since its in­cep­tion.

WAFarm­ers gen­eral pol­icy ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Grady Pow­ell said the 24/7 he­li­copter ser­vice was able to reach ar­eas where road am­bu­lances of­ten couldn’t.

“Agri­cul­ture is an in­dus­try which can in­volve re­mote liv­ing and higher risk ac­tiv­i­ties, and for peo­ple in those ar­eas, ac­cess to fast and re­li­able emer­gency ser­vices is an ab­so­lute must,” Mr Pow­ell said.

“These he­li­copters are a crit­i­cal re­source when deal­ing with what can of­ten be life and death sit­u­a­tions as they can reach ar­eas that are not eas­ily or quickly ac­ces­si­ble by road.

“Re­gional and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties should not be forced to rely solely on road ac­cess by emer­gency ve­hi­cles; in­stead they should be com­ple­mented by the ad­di­tional emer­gency ser­vice, which can be air­borne within 15 min­utes of a call.”

WAFarm­ers con­grat­u­lates all in­volved in fight­ing for this vi­tal ser­vice, and ap­plauds the State Govern­ment for its sup­port.

Pic­ture: De­part­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices

The RAC Res­cue He­li­copter is a vi­tal ser­vice for those work­ing in the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try.

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