All go for helipad at Archery Park
CONSTRUCTION of a $425,000 helipad at Archery Park is expected to be under way before Christmas.
Member for Gympie David Gibson said yesterday money had been allocated, tenders called and the awarding of a construction contract was imminent.
The news was welcomed by Mayor Ron Dyne, who said Gympie had been waiting for this for a long time.
Mr Gibson said the site will include a cement slab big enough to accommodate large helicopters and built to Civil Aviation Safety Authority standards, a crew room and remote activated lights.
"As you know, services at Gympie Hospital have been a focus of mine over the past few years and the good news is that we will finally be getting a new helipad," Mr Gibson said.
Just two years ago, however he was dismissing Archery Park as Gympie's permanent helipad site because of its inaccessibility in times of flood and fog, and because patients had to be transported to and from Gympie Hospital - not an ideal situation in an emergency.
Mr Gibson advocated upgrading the defunct helipad in Henry St or building a helipad on top of the Gympie Hospital as better options.
"Why are we planning to put the pilots under pressure to make a risk assessment in choosing an alternate landing site (if Archery Park is flooded) when all Queensland Health needs to do is allocate appropriate funding to upgrade the current helipad at the Gympie Hospital site?" he said in 2010.
"With Gympie's continued growth it needs an all-weather helipad.
"Every second counts in any life-threatening situation and all weather helipads next to hospitals are crucial."
Yesterday, Mr Gibson said the hazard posed by powerlines in Henry St ruled that site out of contention.