House debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Statements by Members

Royal Flying Doctor Service

1:55 pm

Photo of Matt WilliamsMatt Williams (Hindmarsh, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Recently I welcomed the Treasurer to the electorate of Hindmarsh for the dedication of a plane for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The RFDS's new plane is, for all intents and purposes, a flying intensive care unit. The $7 million aircraft is the first of five new medically equipped Pilatus PC12 aircraft to replace some of their ageing aircraft. It features state-of-the art avionics and emergency services and will replace their current aircraft which for the past 13 years has transferred more than 10,000 patients.

The Treasurer was delighted to announce the $2.7 million contribution by the Commonwealth government towards this landmark capital project. As part of the announcement, there was a special donation of $600,000 by the Hackett Foundation to fund the medical fit-out that converted this aircraft into a flying intensive care unit. Simon Hackett was on hand as a representative of the foundation, and I congratulate him for his generosity. This is a major philanthropic outlay and I applaud Mr Hackett for donating some of the money that he made from the sale of his IT business, Internode, to help those in need.

The RFDS also receive significant support from corporate sponsors, such as BHP Billiton and Oz Minerals among others. Over the last two years I have supported and attended the RFDS Wings for Life Ball, another of the many fundraising activities for the organisation. I thank Charlie Patterson and his team for their fundraising activities and look forward to supporting them in the future.

Finally, like many organisations, the RFDS will need community support over the coming years but, under the leadership of Chairman David Hills and CEO John Lynch and their team, I am sure they will continue to succeed in delivering a world-class service.