Hon Dean Nalder BBus GradDip(AppFin&Inv) MLA

Hon Dean Nalder BBus GradDip(AppFin&Inv) MLA

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Transport

Hon Colin Holt BSc MLC

Hon Colin Holt BSc MLC

Former Minister for Housing; Racing and Gaming

    Lifesaving lights illuminate Gibb River airstrip

    23/01/2015 12:00 AM
     
    • Automatic solar lights installed at Gibb River Station airstrip
    • Provides safer landing for the Royal Flying Doctors Service 
    The Gibb River Station airstrip in the Kimberley has received vital solar lighting for its runway - making emergency medical landings for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) safer and more reliable.
     
    Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the airstrip played a vital role for medical evacuations for the Gibb River community, which includes the Ngallagunda Aboriginal Community and tourists who travel along the remote Gibb River Road each year.
     
    "I am pleased to announce that the lighting, funded by the Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS) through the State Government's Royalties for Regions Program, is now in place at the airstrip," Mr Nalder said.
     
    "The $78,000 grant was awarded to Ngallagunda Aboriginal Community for the purchase and installation of the lighting at Gibb River Station. The solar lights will allow safer landings at night with the lights automatically switching on and off at dusk and dawn."
     
    In a medical emergency, evacuation by air from this remote area is often the only option, particularly in the wet season when many roads are cut-off.  In the past five years, more than 24 emergency evacuations have taken place at Gibb River Station.
     
    Acting Regional Development Minister Colin Holt said he was pleased to see the flow-on effects of Royalties for Regions contributing to the long-term viability of the State's regional communities.
     
    "The addition of solar lights to the airstrip will support the RFDS to continue providing emergency medical services to the Gibb River community and tourists for many years to come," Mr Holt said. 
     
    Until now, the Gibb River Station runway lighting for emergency medical landings was laid manually each time, often by the community nurse who also performs the role of ambulance officer and on-the-ground flight traffic controller. 
     
    "Recognition must be given to the Ngallagunda Aboriginal Community and the community nurse at Gibb River Station for helping the Department of Transport in the planning and execution of this project, allowing for the installation of the lights before the wet season starts," Mr Nalder said.
     
          Fact File
    • The RADS program is funded through the State Government's Royalties for Regions program and delivered by the Department of Transport
    • In the 2013-15 funding round, RADS provided more than $4.2 million to 40 regional airport projects 
    Transport Minister's office - 6552 6400
    Acting Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700

     
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