Petition in support of helicopter

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times
The Bunbury-based RAC rescue helicopter.
Camera IconThe Bunbury-based RAC rescue helicopter. Credit: 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.

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“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.

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