Sky’s the limit for aeromedical facility

Sunday, 8 July 2018

A new aeromedical base and patient transfer facility in Bundaberg has won funding through round 2 of the Building Better Regions Fund – Infrastructure Projects stream.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt announced today the Royal Flying Doctor Service and LifeFlight Australia project would receive $3 million from the federal government program.

“This project will allow these two well-respected organisations – which have been part of this community for more than 15 years – to continue to provide vital emergency aeromedical and inter-hospital patient transfers,” Mr Pitt said.

“Each year, around 3,500 patients in the Bundaberg, Wide Bay and Burnett regions have benefited from this lifesaving service, and the new facility will enhance this service further with improved response times and more efficient patient movements.

“I congratulate the Royal Flying Doctor Service and LifeFlight Australia for their commitment to the region and look forward to seeing this project come to fruition,” he said.

Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) CEO Nino Di Marco said the new dedicated aeromedical facility would ensure the Bundaberg region receives the aeromedical support it needs for many years to come.

“This new aeromedical base will house dedicated hangars for both the RFDS fixed-wing aircraft and LifeFlight rotary wing aircraft,” Mr Di Marco said.

“Coupled with new patient transfer facilities to ensure the safe and efficient movements of patients, and dedicated engineering and maintenance facilities, we will be able to deliver an even greater level of service to the people of this region.

“The RFDS is extremely gracious for the support we have received while pursuing this exciting new project, and without the unwavering support of all levels of government, including Federal Member for Hinkler, Keith Pitt, State Member for Bundaberg David Batt and Mayor Jack Dempsey, this new development would not be possible.”

Welcoming the Federal financial support, LifeFlight Australia Chair Hon. Rob Borbidge said this marks the beginning of an exciting new era of service delivery for patients in the Wide Bay region and beyond.

“Community donations and fundraising help keep the RACQ LifeFlight helicopters in the air, so to have such a significant injection of funds is an amazing boost.

“The fact that we have received wonderful and welcome financial support for an important piece of infrastructure means that RACQ LifeFlight can channel its limited resources into frontline services and do what it does best – saving lives.

“The RACQ LifeFlight community helicopters provide world-class aeromedical retrieval services. With the Wide Bay region continuing to experience strong population growth this new purpose-built Bundaberg base will ensure we have the best possible facilities to continue saving Queensland lives, well into the future.”

“This is a unique opportunity for LifeFlight Australia to work even more closely with the RFDS, from the same facility and we are grateful to the local, state and federal governments for their backing in helping us make this wonderful concept become a reality,” Mr Borbidge said.

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said the project will deliver significant economic and social benefits to the community.

“Under round two of the Building Better Regions Fund – Infrastructure Projects stream, the Coalition Government is investing well over $200 million in 136 projects with a total leveraged project value of $459 million,” Dr McVeigh said.

“This means, in each successful community much anticipated local projects are receiving the funds needed to take a big idea and make it a reality.

“The Coalition has a plan for regional Australia and we are focused on getting it done. It’s a plan to create more jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities”.

“A further $200 million was announced in the 2018-19 Budget for a third round of the Building Better Regions Fund – a clear indication of the Coalition Government’s commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.”

The second round of the Building Better Regions Fund, which includes the Community Investments stream and the Infrastructure Projects stream, is expected to create some 10,000 jobs from over 240 projects.

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