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Council makes life saving donation

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Rockhampton Regional Council has today announced it will be reimbursing more than $140,000 in landing fees to two of the Region’s most critical life-saving services - the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) and the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS).

Council’s portfolio spokesperson for Airport Growth and Development Cr Fisher, said this is now Council’s 24th year supporting the RFDS by reimbursing 100% of their landing fees, totalling an incredible $1.1million.

“From March 2019 through to the end of February this year, the Rockhampton Base RFDS team has transported 2,559 patients, resulting in $114,342 in landing fees that we are delighted to give back to them today,” Cr Fisher said.

“On behalf of Council, I am also pleased to announce that we will be giving back $26,695 to the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service.

“Both of these services are a lifeline, and to a regional city like ours it gives us piece of mind and can even mean the difference between life and death.  

“We are essentially a community owned airport, so it is a great honour to support both the RFDS and CHRS to help keep the crews in the sky.”

RFDS (Queensland Section) CEO Meredith Staib said she was incredibly grateful to Council for their long-standing support of the Service.

“Over the past year, RFDS aircraft have landed at Rockhampton Airport a total of 1,608 times. This generous donation by Rockhampton Regional Council to reimburse our landing fees represents an incredible cost saving,” she said.

“These funds can now be redirected into other parts of our operations, helping ensure world-class aeromedical retrieval services, as well as essential primary and preventative healthcare for regional, rural and remote Australians.”

Mark Fewtrell, Executive Director of the RACQ Helicopter Rescue Service said the organisation is elated to receive the reimbursement from the Service's landing fees.

“As a community run organisation, we rely heavily on the generosity of local businesses and donors,” Mr Fewtrell said.

“The current global pandemic we are all facing has resulted in a significant decline in revenue for the Service, and this donation from the Rockhampton Regional Council means a great deal to CapRescue; now more than ever."