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New RFDS wings in the north-west

For more information, contact Dave Grills (Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region).

A new Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft is set to significantly expand aeromedical capacity in Western Australia’s north-west.

Made possible by a $23.16 million Royalties for Regions investment in the RFDS, the new Pilatus PC12 aircraft will be based in Broome and fitted with the latest in medical, communications and aviation technology.

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills MLC said the new aircraft would ensure that communities across the vast north-west had access to adequate medical response services.

“The RFDS provides a vital service to our regional and remote communities and it’s great to see Royalties for Regions playing a critical role in improving health outcomes for patients in the north-west,” Mr Grills said.

“This $23.16m investment will help finance the purchase of two new and two replacement aircraft and has already funded the new Broome RFDS base.

“The new operating facilities and aircraft will allow the RFDS to meet the increasing and changing demand for aeromedical services in some of the most remote parts of the Kimberley and Pilbara.”

As the busiest RFDS hub in the north-west, Mr Grills said more than 1000 patients had flown to and from the Broome centre in the past 12 months alone.

“With two aircraft hangars, a modern patient treatment centre and the new aircraft, the Broome RFDS base is now much better placed to respond rapidly to medical emergencies in remote northern areas,” Mr Grills said.

Nationals WA Candidate for the Kimberley Rob Houston said the investment was another  example of Royalties for Regions building the sustainability and resilience of northern communities.

“Improving access to quality medical facilities and specialists is key to closing the city regional divide in WA and improving the liveabilility of north-west communities, big and small,” Mr Houston said.

“This investment will help bring a timely, safe and appropriate level of service to all Kimberley and Pilbara residents.

“I welcome this significant Royalties for Regions investment in such essential, life-saving services.”

The State Government also separately funds the RFDS to provide aero inter-hospital patient transport services from Derby, Port Hedland, Meekatharra, Kalgoorlie, Jandakot and Broome.

The $23.16m investment is part of the $195.58m Country Patient Transport Project which includes $67.39m from Royalties for Regions, $79.51m from the WA Country Health Service and $48.68m from the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 90711 500 or email dave.grills@mp.wa.gov.au