Helicopter funding to remain in northern New South Wales

Written by: Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, 11 Jul 2018

Helicopter funding to remain in northern New South Wales

Sydney, 11 July 2018 – Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) and Northern Region SLSA Helicopter Rescue Service

Pty Ltd (Northern) and Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service Limited (NNSW) today announced they

have resolved Supreme Court proceedings.

 

The matter involved the distribution of funds after Northern ceased its operations of 35 years in 2017.

The proceedings were lodged in the Supreme Court of New South Wales by NNSW who, on 27th April 2017,

commenced its own independent operations to provide helicopter emergency medical services in the North

Coast, Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands region from a new base at Lismore Airport.

 

The parties settled the proceedings, with the funds being distributed to NNSW and SLSA to be applied to

support the helicopter rescue service and Surf Life Saving programs in northern New South Wales.

 

Mr Tozer OAM, Chairman of Northern Region SLSA Helicopter Rescue Service Pty Ltd said, “I am pleased

that the matter was resolved in accordance with Northern’s constitution and contractual obligations as it

has always been the Northern Board’s direction to ensure its staff were re-employed and that all funds

raised and assets acquired were distributed in accordance with Northern’s constitutional requirements.”

 

Graham Ford AM, President of SLSA, said SLSA was satisfied with the outcome and was pleased that

settlement could be reached through mediation between the parties.

 

“Surf Life Saving members and hundreds of local volunteers have spent many thousands of hours

supporting the helicopter rescue service in the Northern region during the past three decades – and, this

settlement ensures critical funding will remain in the area to support the helicopter service and Surf Life

Saving programs.”

 

Chief Executive Officer of NNSW, Richard Jones OAM, has reiterated today that funds received by NNSW

from this settlement will be applied directly to the North Coast, Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands

operations of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter.

 

“We are satisfied with this outcome and pleased it could be resolved through mediated settlement. Establishing

this new Service at Lismore Airport required us to take out a substantial loan and receipt of funds will allow us to

repay a significant amount of that loan. Funds are being applied for the purpose of helicopter emergency

medical services in the North Coast, Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands region” Jones said.

 

“The significant costs of developing the base, training staff and commencing flying in the new Agusta Westland

AW139 was an essential commitment we made to this region to provide a world class service” Jones added.

 

“We are very grateful for the community support we have received over the past 12 months. Since our

commencement of operations on 27th April 2017 we have flown over 500 missions, many of which were lifesaving,

and that’s the thing we are most proud of.” Jones said.

 

There are 19 Surf Life Saving clubs in the Northern region of NSW, comprised of more than 6,500

members.

 

Both SLSA and NNSW provide vital services to keep their local community safe in their own ways. Both

organisations are supported by a wide range of community stakeholders including volunteers, sponsors and

donors.

    

SLSA is the largest volunteer movement of its kind in the world, with 168,823 members and 311 affiliated

Surf Life Saving clubs. Surf Life Saving is a unique not-for-profit community cause that exists through

community donations, fundraising, corporate sponsorship and government grants.