- New police helicopter to significantly enhance community safety
- Helicopter will play a crucial role in traffic enforcement and pursuit management
- McGowan Government committed to keeping our roads and community safer
The McGowan Labor Government has today announced a significant boost to community and road safety, with funding provided for a new police helicopter.
The decision to provide $26.9 million in this year's State Budget ensures the WA Police Force will continue to maintain a safe and reliable Air Wing.
The new helicopter will replace the almost 30-year-old Kawasaki BK117, which has reached the end of its useful life.
Helicopters provide vital support to police operations and play a crucial role in road safety, by helping to resolve high-speed pursuits quickly and safely.
Part funding for the helicopter has been sourced from the Road Trauma Trust Account, while the balance is to be funded from the Consolidated Account.
The previous Liberal National Government were aware of the urgent requirement to replace the ageing helicopter, but chose to do nothing.
The new helicopter will be equipped with modern technology and systems which provide enhanced safety, reliability and operating efficiencies.
The Eurocopter Dauphin which became fully operational in mid-2012, will remain in the fleet.
Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts:
"Despite the former Liberal National Government being told many years ago about the ageing police helicopter fleet, they did nothing when they had the capacity to do so.
"The result is a helicopter which is now spending more time in the hangar, undergoing maintenance, than in the air providing crucial support to frontline police.
"This Government takes the matter of community safety very seriously and in very tight financial circumstances, we have prioritised this funding.
"Helicopters have proven very effective in ending high-speed pursuits safely, so it is essential that we equip our police with a reliable aircraft."
Minister's office - 6552 6900