The patient transfer facility, which will be developed at the new Aviation Precinct at the airport, is to be collaboratively established and maintained by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) and RACQ LifeFlight Rescue – both of which will use the base to store medical equipment, perform aircraft maintenance and upgrades, improving overall health and safety standards and generating increased patient access to the aeromedical services.
In addition to the enhanced medical provision, the opening of the new base will also create 150 new jobs, as the construction and maintenance of the new base will require personnel – Hutchinson Builders has been awarded the contract, and it’s suggested that around 100 of the job roles will go to local people. Furthermore, materials used to construct the base will also be sourced locally, including over 3,200 tonnes of concrete, 60 tonnes of reinforcement and 130 tonnes of structural steel.
RFDS QLD CEO Meredith Staib said: “Their [Hutchinson Builders’] commitment to using local contractors throughout the project will have a positive impact for the Bundaberg region. This will further strengthen the Flying Doctor and LifeFlight’s commitment to serve the people of Bundaberg and the greater Wide Bay and Fraser Coast regions.”
The Australian Government has provided AUS$3 million funding towards the project via the Building Better Regions Fund, but the two charities are still expected to supply the remaining 50 per cent of the total project costs. The RFDS revealed that the new base will cost the charities $1.5million each, and so they are looking to the local communities to help offset the amount.
With construction set to begin mid-July, the project is expected to be completed in February 2020. And for now, the RFDS and LifeFlight are preparing to raise the rest of the funds.