25th May, 2017
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
Rene Hidding, Minister for Police and Emergency Management
Ensuring we have adequate resources in times of need is behind the Hodgman Liberal Government’s decision to spend $9 million on a second medical and police search and rescue helicopter in the 2017-18 State Budget.
With the Budget back on track this second helicopter will allow more Tasmanians to get the treatment they need sooner and when every second counts.
The addition of this new helicopter will bring the state’s fleet to two and secure the continued use of our BK117 helicopter across the Ambulance Tasmania Aero‑Medical and Retrieval Service and Tasmania Police Search and Rescue.
At the moment Tasmania has only one BK117 and uses a smaller AS355 as required.
The new helicopter will aid in medical retrievals and search and rescue emergencies – which with the significant increase in tourist numbers to the state, has also seen a rise in the number of flying hours of the fleet from 377 in the 2014-15 financial year to 623 in 2015-16.
It will increase the capacity of both AT's Aero‑Medical and Retrieval Service and Tasmania Police Search and Rescue and allow our specially trained air paramedics to provide an important ongoing service, as well as ensure we continue to meet increasing demand from across the state.
The helicopter will be delivered in conjunction with the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management.
The investment in a second helicopter will further support our Budget spend on patient transport services announced last year, as well as complement the new helipad at the North West Regional Hospital and those at the Launceston General Hospital and the future rooftop helipad at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
The Hodgman Government is Building Tasmania’s Future by continued and ongoing investment in critical services that save lives, and ensuring Tasmanians get the health services they deserve with another year of record investment.