There is so much to see at this year’s Lismore 4WD Caravan Camping & Marine Show, 8-10th July at the Lismore Showgrounds. With nearly 200 exhibitors from across Australia on display, if you're into the great outdoors and adventure you'll find everything you need for your next get away. With lots of new exhibitors, daily entertainment headlined by the Cast Iron Boys performing their bush cooking demonstrations, activities for the kids and free on-site parking, this year’s Show truly has something for the whole family. If you’re looking for a new 4WD to hit the dusty trail, a new boat to cruise the local water ways or a new caravan or camper, the Show is the place to be to compare all the latest products. This annual event is a major fundraiser for the community’s Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter. To find out more visit www.lismore4wdshow.com.au
The much anticipated green light was given two weeks ago and today the first sod was turned on the site that will be the home of the upgraded Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
The Member for Lismore, The Hon. Thomas George was joined by the Chairman of the Northern Region Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service, Mr Warren Tozer OAM, Mr Richard Jones, General Manager of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Mr Kris Beavis, General Manager of the Northern Region Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service, Lismore Mayor, Jenny Dowell, along with volunteers and staff to witness the milestone at the site in the Lismore Airport precinct on Krauss Avenue.
The purpose built base will house the new state of the art AW139 aircraft, which will be stationed at each of the seven NSW Ambulance helicopter bases in NSW. The new Northern NSW sector's bases will be located at Lismore Airport, Belmont Airport (Newcastle) and Tamworth Airport. Each base will have accommodation for the pilots, aircrew, doctors and paramedics who will form the retrieval team on each mission.
Mr Tozer commented "Today is a wonderful tribute to those people who had the vision and determination to establish a rescue helicopter service in northern NSW nearly 35 years ago."
Sentiments shared by his General Manager, Kris Beavis "It is the continued and tireless support of our regions' communities that have seen both services mature into world class operations and because of that, we have been able to save thousands of lives"
The agreement reached between the two services, which saw the Northern Region supporting the tender bid of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service was vital to seeing them edge out private, international and national competition in the tender process.
"Our backgrounds, our cultures and our commitments to our communities made it a logical agreement, and one under which we could move forward" Mr Richard Jones, General Manager of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service said.
Mr George welcomed the imminent construction. "I am delighted to stand here today representing the NSW Government with representatives from each of these vital community services knowing that the people of Northern NSW will continue to be provided with the best possible aeromedical service.
In conjunction with the soon to be opened helipad at the newly expanded Lismore Base Hospital, this brings the quality of critical care in our region to a whole new level"
The construction, expected to be completed by early 2017, is being undertaken by local Lismore operator, Greg Clark Building.
"We are proud to be working on such an important project for our community and look forward to seeing the day when the new aircraft is first rolled in to the hangar" Mr Clark said.
L-R Representatives Warren Tozer OAM (Chairman Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter), Kris Beavis (General Manager Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter), Jenny Dowell (Mayor Lismore City Council), Ken Jolley OAM (Volunteer Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter), Thomas George MP (Member for Lismore), Richard Jones (General Manager Westpac Rescue Helicopter), Roy Gordon(Local Elder Bundjalung)
This year marks the 19th running of the 'Hell on Wheels' mountain bike tour event supporting the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.
Being held from the 8-15th October, this years tour will see riders taking on some of the most spectacular trails our region has to offer. Starting in Grafton, this years event will take in the towns of Copmanhurst, Jackadgery, Coutts Crossing, Red Rock, Wooli, Maclean and Brushgrove.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter spokesperson, Zeke Huish commented "Each year this event continues to amaze the riders with some of the incredible scenery they get to see once they hit the back roads and dirt trails around our region".
"The riders not only enjoy the social comradery of their fellow riders, they also know that their support is helping to raise vital funds to keep the rescue helicopter service flying" said Mr Huish.
This years ride is once again proudly sponsored by local company Hurford Hardwood. To find out more or to register, please call the helibase in Lismore on 6627 4444.
Day 1 Grafton to Jackadgery (60km) Level: Medium
Camp at Mann River Caravan Park - Self Cater
Day 2 Jackadgery to Copmanhurst (90km) Level: Hard
Camp at Rodeo grounds - dinner at pub
Day 3 Copmanhurst to Coutts Crossing (50km plus some laps of Bom Bom bike track) Level: Medium /Hard
Camp at squash courts - dinner at Tavern
Day 4 Coutts Crossing to Red Rock (75km) Visit to Yarrawarra Aboriginal Centre - possible Bush tucker tasting on the way Level: Hard
Camp/Cabins at Red Rock - dinner at the Club
Day 5 Red Rock to Wooli (60km) Level: Medium
Camp/Cabins at Solitary Islands Marine Park - dinner at pub
Day 6 Wooli to Maclean (70km) Level: Medium
Pub accom and dinner
Day 7 Maclean to Brushgrove (75km) Level: Hard
Pub/camping accom - Pub Dinner
Day 8 Brushgrove to Grafton (45km) Level: Easy
Due to circumstances outside our control the 2016 Coffs Coast Charity Walk – to be held on Sunday 19 June - has now been cancelled.
As a way of giving something back and to thankyou for supporting our event, anyone registered and paid as at the time and date of this email will still receive the official '2016 Coastal Charity Walk' cap. (*see collection details below)
We are also able to offer any existing paid participants the opportunity to enter the 'Show your Colours for the Chopper ' event (www.sycfunrun.com.au) – which is being held on Saturday 11th June at the Coffs Harbour Showgrounds**. Your registration can be transferred directly to this event however you do not wish to take up this offer, a full refund of your registration fee will be refunded to you.
As a major fundraising event for the Rescue Helicopter Service and a great way for us to engage with our local community, we are very saddened by this turn of events and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. We hope to be able to hold the event again in 2017 and will keep you advised.
On behalf of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, thank you again for your support. Please don't hesitate to contact us on 02 6627 4444 if you require any further information in regard to this matter.
** Please contact our office for full details on transferring your registration to the Coffs Colour Run event.
Speaking today, Mr Kris Beavis, General Manager of the Lismore based Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, has stated he is pleased that a NSW Ambulance decision has been reached in regard to the location of the new helicopter base.
Mr Beavis was reflecting on the announcement today by Dr Ron Manning, Executive Director, Health Emergency and Aeromedical Services for NSW Ambulance that a new helibase would remain in Lismore.
"The important element of today's decision is that we can move forward with the construction of a new base immediately, allowing for the delivery and commencement of operations of the new AW139 aero-medical helicopters from April 2017, Mr Beavis said.
The question regarding suitability of a new base was first raised in late 2015, and in responding to that enquiry, the Lismore service thought the issue may have been addressed. The matter was raised again in March 2016, with flight data re-considered in the context of specific missions cancelled due to fog. This analysis indicated that our availability to respond to emergencies was in the high 90% bracket.
"I believe that the scope of investigation by the independent aviation auditor has been very thorough and this needs to be recognised in the read of the decision", he said.
Mr Beavis stated that "The service has been based in Lismore since 1983 and in that time the Service has conducted over 8,300 life-saving missions. Every mission is conducted with an absolute focus on safety, and our availability and outcomes speak to this – we are very proud of what we do for our community'.
With one stroke of a pen a new chapter in the 34 year history of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was written.
On 13th May Mr Richard Jones, General Manager of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, formally accepted the first of the new fleet of aircraft that will service the region from the Hawkesbury River in the south to Tweed Heads in the north of the State.
Four Agusta Westland AW139 aircraft will come into service in the first quarter of 2017 after undergoing final fit out and pilot, crews and engineering completing rigorous training regimes.
'I was very conscious during the handover that it was made possible by the wonderful support the people of the regions provide to the Service to help ensure the safety of our communities. Once again I pass on our appreciation to our sponsors, our volunteers and all members of the community who help to make it possible,' Mr Jones said.
Sentiments that were echoed by Kris Beavis, General Manager of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, "The new aircraft represent significant change, which underpins our commitment to helping to provide the best possible service for those in the community who need our help" Mr Beavis said
This milestone sees the realisation of many years of steady growth and stewardship of the local service that has enabled the Hunter and Northern Services to combine to successfully tender for a new ten year contract to provide aeromedical retrieval services for the NSW Ambulance Service.
Owners, Barry France and Lana Burrows, of Coffs Harbour Real Estate are all about locals helping locals. Over the past 6 months Barry & Lana have developed a program whereby they donate $300 from every house they sell with the owner of the home deciding which charity or community group they would like it to go to. The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has been the recipient now of two such donations and recently met with Barry & Lana to thank them for their support.
"Being a local business we felt this was a chance for our clients to choose who they would like to see us support" commented Barry.
"With locals supporting us we can then help to support local organisations that are dear to them" said Lana.
Spoke person for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, Zeke Huish commented "This support will go directly towards helping to maintain our Service and keep it on standby 24 hours a day for the community".
In total, Barry & Lana have made thirteen donations to various group thus far since their "Locals Helping Locals' program started 6 months ago.
To find out more visit www.realestatecoffsharbour.com.au
Our Coffs Coast Charity Walk, which was original set to occur on the 12th June has been re-scheduled to now take place on Sunday the 19th June 2016. To book your team visit www.coastalcharitywalk.com.au This event is proudly sponsored by C.ex Coffs.