Pe­ti­tion in sup­port of he­li­copter

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Tari Jef­fers

A PE­TI­TION to save the Bun­bury-based RAC Res­cue He­li­copter is cir­cu­lat­ing fol­low­ing the rev­e­la­tion the State Govern­ment has not com­mit­ted fund­ing be­yond this fi­nan­cial year’s $9 mil­lion.

The Na­tional Party’s Save Our Res­cue Chop­per pe­ti­tion started be­ing shared late last week and as of 10am yes­ter­day had 1841 of its 3000-sig­na­ture tar­get.

The he­li­copter has been based in Bun­bury since Fe­bru­ary 2016 and has been in­volved in more than 400 in­ci­dents in the South West, Peel and Great South­ern.

War­ren Black­wood MLA Terry Red­man said the res­cue he­li­copter was a vi­tal ser­vice for the re­gion.

“With­out the rapid re­sponse pro­vided by the res­cue he­li­copter, help could be hours away for peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas who are se­ri­ously ill or in­jured,” he said.

“It is time the McGowan Govern­ment ex­plained how the RAC can con­tinue this im­por­tant ser­vice with­out Govern­ment op­er­a­tional fund­ing.”

Man­jimup Vol­un­teer Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice cap­tain Sharon Arm­strong said the avail­abil­ity of the res­cue he­li­copter was a mat­ter of “life and death” and crit­i­cal to the re­gion.

“It takes 45 min­utes for the Jan­dakot-based he­li­copter to get here and 20 min­utes for the Bun­bury-based he­li­copter,” she said.

“They’re some­times get­ting here as we ar­rive on scene or as we’re pre­par­ing peo­ple for ex­trac­tion.

Man­jimup shire pres­i­dent Paul Omodei en­cour­aged peo­ple to sign the pe­ti­tion.

“The res­cue he­li­copter is es­sen­tial to quick re­sponses to emer­gen­cies in the re­gion and is fun­da­men­tal to the safety of our com­mu­nity,” he said.

The Bun­bury-based RAC Res­cue He­li­copter.

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