$5.6M overhaul for Cairns Ambulance Station and Operations Centre

Published Monday, 10 July, 2017 at 11:21 AM


Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Curtis Pitt

Cairns Ambulance Station and Operations Centre will undergo a $5.6M redevelopment to better meet the growing demand for ambulance services in the region.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk officially announced the redevelopment today while visiting the joint facility to acknowledge the role local Queensland Ambulance Service staff played in responding to the devastating 2015 Ravenshoe café explosion.

Two people lost their lives and a further 21 people suffered injuries during the explosion on June 9, 2015.

“QAS staff perform heroic acts day in and day out, but the officers who responded to the Ravenshoe tragedy went far above and beyond what is expected of them during a significant event,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Their efforts saved lives that day and their outstanding commitment and first class professionalism was of the highest standard.

“I was honoured to meet and present eight ambulance staff with Meritorious Service Awards and Certificates of Commendation. They are a credit to themselves, their families, their colleagues and the community.

“From the moment the first Triple Zero (000) call was made, emergency services personnel, other agencies and the community banded together in what has been described by many as an exceptional response under challenging and confronting circumstances.

“My Government recognises the life saving work of these and all Queensland Ambulance staff and we are committed to ensuring Queensland Ambulance Service has the equipment, training and resources it needs.

“That is why we are funding the redevelopment of this station and operations centre, to ensure Cairns residents can continue to benefit from the very best in emergency care.”

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said the redevelopment would include construction of a new building or extension on the existing site to accommodate the expanded ambulance station and operations centre.

“This will provide for emerging technology services into the future, training facilities and offices for clinical education staff, as well as a reconfiguration of spaces within the existing ambulance station to improve functionality,” Mr Dick said.

“The redevelopment of the Cairns Ambulance Station and Operation Centre will cost $5.6 million, with $200,000 allocated in 2017-18 financial year to commence project planning.”

He said as part of the project planning, the current facilities would be assessed to decide the best approach for delivering upgrades that would meet the needs of the staff and growing demand for ambulance services in the region. 

“During the past financial year, Cairns paramedics responded to almost 30,000 calls for assistance,” Mr Dick said.

“Our QAS officers are confronted with tragedy regularly, yet they maintain an incredible level of professionalism and commitment to caring for Queenslanders. The officers who responded to the Ravenshoe tragedy epitomise the heart and soul of our QAS and I thank them for lifesaving work.

Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt, who visited Ravenshoe the weekend after the incident to lay flowers and meet with locals, said the whole region had come together to support the Ravenshoe community since the tragedy.

“I was struck by the number of people visiting from around the region, as far afield as Tully, to show their support for the people of Ravenshoe,” Mr Pitt said.

“The pain of this tragedy will affect the fabric of Ravenshoe’s close-knit community for years to come, but in the Far North we stand together through everything, be it cyclone, drought or disaster.

“I take my hat off to the emergency service workers who were first on scene and the community volunteers who have been helping Ravenshoe to recover since June 2015.”

Cairns and Hinterland Assistant Commissioner Michelle Baxter welcomed the upgrade of the Cairns Ambulance Station and Operations Centre.

“Our emergency medical dispatchers, paramedics and patient transport officers do a wonderful job caring for the community, and the new facilities will support them to continue their great work,” Ms Baxter said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the eight ambulance staff who were today presented with Meritorious Service Awards and Certificates of Commendation for their response during the Ravenshoe café explosion in June 2015.

“The recipients all demonstrated commitment and the ability to serve our community to the highest standard and we thank them for their effort during what was a terrible incident.”

The Palaszczuk Government has delivered an additional 367 nurses and midwives and 107 doctors to Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (HHS) since it came to Government in 2015.



Media contact:

Premier:                     Susan McGrady - 0488 996 667

Minister Dick:            Emma McBryde - 0400 622 433