Time to move on 24-hour chopper

THE time to act on a 24-hour helicopter medical retrieval service is now says Orange City Councillor Glenn Taylor.

Cr Taylor is fed up with waiting for the government to comment on a review into Ambulance NSW and wants answers. He approached opposition spokesperson for local government Sophie Cotsis when she was in town yesterday. He said the Labor Party would bring the matter up in parliament.

“She said she’d be raising it in parliament and start asking questions about when we’re getting the results,” he said.

“It’s a bit rough that we’ve had to wait for a state government review.”

Member for Orange Andrew Gee said the government had maintained they would comment on the findings of the report by the end of the year. 

“The review is not just about the Orange rescue helicopter, it’s about the whole ambulance service of NSW,” he said.

“I don’t think waiting one more month is going to kill Cr Taylor.” 

Mr Gee said Cr Taylor and Ms Cotsis’ party had 15 years to address the need for a 24-hour helicopter.

“It was Cr Taylor’s party that created the issue,” he said.

He questioned why Ms Cotsis and Cr Taylor had not spoken about the issue while Labor was in government.

Cr Taylor said Orange shouldn’t have to wait for an answer as part of a NSW wide review. 

“We don’t think it’s too fair we should have to wait this long,” he said. 

“Look this is about people’s lives. The previous state government delivered a $290 million hospital to this city, all we’re asking of this state government is $1 million dollars a year to provide a retrieval service.”

A petition for the service was presented to the parliament with 30,000 signatures. Cr Taylor said it was the second largest petition ever presented to the NSW parliament. 

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