THIS week’s minor flood in Gympie has again brought the issue of the helipad site at Archery Park that is under water to the fore.
Member for Gympie David Gibson said the use of Archery Park as a helipad was due to the State Government taking its eye off the ball when it came to planning for infrastructure upgrades for Gympie Hospital.
“I raised my concerns regarding flooding on the site with Queensland Health last year when they first proposed using Archery Park; to my surprise they hadn’t considered this as an issue,” he said.
“I have now been told that Emergency Management Queensland have said that they could and would land a helicopter anywhere if Archery Park was flooded but this isn’t good enough.
“Why are we planning to put the pilots under pressure to make a risk assessment in choosing an alternate landing site when all Queensland Health needs to do is allocate appropriate funding to upgrade the current helipad at the Gympie Hospital site?
“With Gympie’s continued growth it needs an all-weather helipad.”
Mr Gibson is writing to the Health Minister to lobby for funding to be allocated in the upcoming budget for an upgrade to the Gympie Hospital helipad so that it can meet current aviation standards.
“This work needs to occur to help avoid critical delays and additional ambulance journeys,” he said.
“Every second counts in any life-threatening situation and all weather helipads next to hospitals are crucial. The last thing we need is to place lives further at risk because of an unsuitable helipad site.”