Helipad needed now says Gibson
LIVES were being needlessly put at risk while the Bligh Labor Government dithered over a temporary helipad at Archery Park, LNP Member for Gympie David Gibson said.
Mr Gibson said he had first raised the need for an urgent upgrade to the Gympie Hospital helipad as far back as 2006.
“This lazy, long-term Bligh Labor government makes every excuse under the sun why it has failed to plan properly for infrastructure upgrades at the Gympie Hospital,” he said.
“It took Bligh and Labor until 2009 to propose using Archery Park as a temporary helipad.
“Twelve months later and the incompetent health minister, who can’t manage to pay Queensland Health staff properly, still hasn’t signed-off a lease with the council to make the helipad happen.”
Mr Gibson said he had no confidence in the ability of Bligh and Labor to deliver on a permanent upgrade to the Gympie Hospital helipad.
“I am also rapidly losing confidence in the ability of Health Minister Lucas to deliver even a temporary helipad,” he said.
“Every day that passes without action from Minister Lucas is another day pilots are placed under pressure to make a risk assessment in choosing an appropriate landing site.
“What we need is action on the temporary helipad site now, and appropriate funding allocated to upgrade the current Gympie Hospital helipad site for the future.”
Mr Gibson said it was more dangerous for pilots each time they tried to land on the road or an uneven surface.
“With continued growth in the Gympie region it is patently obvious our hospital needs an all-weather helipad”.
Mr Gibson said the tragic crash at Glenwood on Tuesday highlighted a need for more services at Gympie Hospital.
“We are losing more and more services at Gympie hospital, we don’t have the people trained or the equipment and there is a need to transport people quickly.
“What Paul Lucas seems to forget is in any life-threatening situation every second counts and with no current helipad available to the Gympie Hospital lives are continually being put at risk due to his bumbling incompetence and procrastination.”
Mr Gibson said he would continue to continue to push for funding for a new helipad at the Hospital saying Archery Park was not an ideal site as it was inaccessible in times of flood or fog.
He also said ambulances were needed to transport people to and from the temporary site, which was problematic in times of emergency.