Helicopter decision disappointing

Media Release
26 May 2016

Greens MP for Ballina Tamara Smith today expressed her disappointment with the announcement today by Dr Ron Manning, Executive Director, Health Emergency and Aeromedical Services for NSW Ambulance that the new Westpac Rescue Life Saver Helicopter base would remain in Lismore.

“When you consider that this service is there for hundreds of thousands of people in communities around the New South Wales Northern Region, don’t we deserve the very best?” she said.

“I have been persuaded by the information about fog and flooding as inhibiting the capability of the helicopter rescue service to attend critical accidents and emergencies.”

“As I’ve said before, the service saved my daughter’s life when she was 18 months old and the thought of any family losing a loved one because the service cannot take off is unimaginable.”

“We know the paramedics and pilots of the helicopter rescue service are world class. I would have liked to have seen a helicopter base in a world class location to support their great work.”

“If you have a choice of locations, why would you not make the best possible choice?”

“Ultimately this was a decision by the Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner, and it is now a matter for her. I will be watching and monitoring the situation very closely,” said Ms Smith.

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