Britnell Urges Portland to get behind Petition

03 April 2024

Britnell Urges Portland to get behind Petition

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell has urged Portland and district locals to get behind a petition
calling on the Victorian Labor Government to reopen the Portland Hospital helipad for use by Air Ambulance
HEMS choppers.

“It’s a vital, lifesaving service for Portland and district lives, yet for the last 15 months it has remained closed
forcing locals to endure an additional 14 kilometre road trip to and from the Portland airport.” Ms Britnell
advised. “These are delays that can cost lives in the event of an emergency” said Ms Britnell. “That’s why I am
urging locals to get behind this petition calling for the Minister to re-open the helipad.”

“It’s a message touted by the Victorian Labor Government themselves over the years, “seconds matter when
saving lives”, yet alarmingly here in Portland we see no rush by the Labor Government to get the hospital’s
helipad back up and running” said Ms Britnell.

Ms Britnell said she had been pursuing answers from the Victorian government for the past 12 months as to
why the helipad remains closed, with the Minister for Ambulance Services, in June last year, initially blaming
regulations of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). This was later found to be untrue when in a letter to
Ms Britnell, the authority advised “the decision to suspend operations was unrelated to any changes in CASA
regulations.”

In March this year when addressing the Victorian Parliament, Ms Britnell again called on the Minister to act;
“The Minister should be ashamed, “She should be embarrassed at all the excuses she has used whilst Portland
locals in unimaginable pain and whose lives are at risk are required to travel 15 minutes to the airport along
our rubbish country roads” Ms Britnell told the Parliament. “I have had enough of this Minister’s ducking of
her responsibilities.”

Ms Britnell advised the petition is up and running at local Portland businesses for locals to sign and called on
the public to signal to the government that locals would fight for their healthcare needs.
“Seconds can and do matter in an emergency and that is why I am urging locals to get behind this petition” Ms
Britnell said.

A full list of locations hosting the petition can be found at www.romabritnell.com.au and the petition will be
tabled in the State Parliament in May.

Roma Britnell MP
Member for South West Coast
Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight
Shadow Minister for Child Protection
Shadow Minister for Boating and Fishing

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