Premier Napthine Launches Helipad Project

Thursday, 6 November 2014
Premier and Member for South West Coast Denis Napthine has used a ceremonial shovel to turn the first sod on Portland’s long-awaited emergency helipad project.

Dr Napthine officially launched the project with Portland District Health (PDH) CEO Chris Giles and Chairman Mike Noske at the weekend. The shovel was previously used in 1990 to turn the first sod for building the new hospital wing.

Dr Napthine said the helipad would ensure Portland and district received faster medical response.

This helipad will save lives by ensuring people receive the best care possible in the quickest time period, Dr Napthine said.

For many years the helicopter has been landing on the neighbouring Ploughed Field, with an ambulance forced to transfer the patient across the road to the hospital site.

The helipad ensures patients are transferred directly from PDH to specialist medical care in Melbourne in emergency situations.

The start of construction is great news for Portland and the wider community who will benefit from this helipad construction.”

Ms Giles said the start of the helipad project, to be built on vacant land in the Accident and Emergency car park, was a good news story for the Portland community.

PDH is very happy to see this project come to fruition,” she said. It will be a potentially life-saving facility.

Ms Giles said support from the community had been vital in making the project a success.

We are thrilled with the level of support to get this project up and running, both in financial contributions and offers of pro-bono work, she said.

Ms Giles said Dr Napthine agreed that the helipad was an important safety initiative for Portland.

The Premier said this helipad will save lives and we agree. It will more easily connect us to the south west emergency rescue helicopter and having it outside our emergency department is the ideal location,she said.

Mr Noske thanked Dr Napthine for his support of the helipad.

Dr Napthine has championed this cause since before the last election and has continued to keep in touch about its progress. We appreciate his ongoing support and look forward to the benefits this project will bring our community, he said.

Project manager Peter Carr from G.R Carr Pty Ltd expects to start construction within the next few weeks and the work is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Power lines in Bentinck Street have already been removed to allow for the safe arrival and departure of the emergency helicopter.

Ms Giles said it was uncertain if new traffic lights would be installed before the end of the year, however the helipad could still be used with police assistance.

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