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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    New plane to boost Torres Strait air emergency fleet

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Friday, July 29, 2016

    New plane to boost Torres Strait air emergency fleet

    A faster, more versatile fixed-wing plane will boost Torres Strait air emergency services, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced during a visit to the Horn Island airbase today.

    The Premier, who was accompanied by Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt, said the recently upgraded Cessna Caravan aircraft was ideal for the Torres Strait and northern Cape York.

    The Premier said as part of the Government’s $46 million commitment to providing modern, effective aircraft coverage in our regions, the upgraded Cessna would be moved from Mount Isa and a new aircraft will be purchased for the Mount Isa region.

    “It’s a great fit. The Cessna aircraft has a new, more powerful engine. It’s faster, has a greater payload, can operate on all strips in the area and is well-suited to weather and flying conditions in the Torres Strait,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “All Queenslanders deserve access to proper medical facilities, especially in times of emergency. This partnership ensures the people of the Torres Strait are well-served when it comes to aerial support.”

    The Cessna Caravan operated by the Queensland Government’s QGAir will replace a BN Islander craft. It will complement Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia’s Horn Island-based emergency helicopter service.

    Mr Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government had allocated up to $44.6 million to extend Babcock’s contract for three years, plus two one year extensions.

    “As part of the renewed contract, communities in the Torres Strait and Northern Cape York now will have access to an upgraded helicopter with a back-up craft, and a new air-conditioned facility on the airbase to house patients awaiting transfer to mainland hospitals,” Mr Pitt said.