Extension of POLAIR Helicopter partnership with Surf Life Saving Queensland

Published Thursday, 06 May, 2021 at 11:37 AM

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has extended its partnership with Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) for the supply of POLAIR services for two years until 1 July  2024.

This partnership extension is supported by a 10-year funding commitment from the Palaszczuk Government for POLAIR services for the QPS. 

For the provision of POLAIR services from 1 July 2024, the QPS is now in a position to commence a formal tender process with a registration of interest opportunity opening by June 2021.

While the total value of this 10-year commitment is commercial-in-confidence to ensure taxpayers get the best outcome, the Palaszczuk Government has fully funded this commitment for the QPS.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said POLAIR helicopters were available for tasking 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“POLAIR has a strong reputation of supporting frontline police officers.

“POLAIR provides an airborne law enforcement capability which is most effective in densely populated regions which is why the QPS has two helicopters based at Brisbane and on the Gold Coast respectively.

“With the capabilities of POLAIR and our dedicated tactical flight officers, POLAIR is delivering safety outcomes for officers and the community on a daily basis,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“The QPS will always deploy the best available police resources to support our policing operations and enhance community safety.  For example, we have three government helicopters based in the north of our State which the QPS has access to and uses when needed.  It is important to highlight that the QPS is entirely satisfied with those current arrangements and those arrangements will not be impacted by the POLAIR funding arrangement.”

Minister Ryan said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to providing the resources that the QPS needed to support community safety. 

“While this government respects that it is always up to the QPS as to where it allocates its resources, the Palaszczuk Government recognises the importance of funding an extension of the POLAIR service arrangements in addition to supporting the ongoing allocation of three government helicopters to north Queensland which are available for policing operations.  .

“This demonstrates the total commitment of the government to supporting frontline police who work so hard each and every day to keep the community safe,” Minister Ryan said.

“I am told that the Palaszczuk Government’s extended funding for POLAIR services means new helicopters will be procured to replace the existing aircraft.

“In addition, this funding will also ensure the helicopters will have an operational capacity of at least 2,000 flight hours each year.

The formal procurement program will start through a registration of interest later this month with a new service contract to commence from 1 July 2024.

Media contacts 

Minister Ryan’s Office: Ph: (07) 3035 8300

Police Media: Ph: (07) 3015 2444