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Base expansion taking shape

Friday, 13th June, 2008

Base expansion taking shape Base expansion taking shape

Despite some delays, the $3 million redevelopment of the local Flying Doctor base is on track for completion by the end of the year. South Eastern Section executive director, Clyde Thomson, said yesterday that he still expected work to expand the base to be finished by December.

Two steel structures that will become the visitors' auditorium and the enlarged medical facility now stand at the site.

The project has not been without its hiccups, however, including the discovery of some hard rock that required the spending of an extra $30,000 to remove it.

Then there was the water damage to the existing base, which was caused by the recent rainfall.

"We've had some delays due to the steelwork but the other trades have been very accommodating," Mr Thomson said.

"We're hoping the people who have the contract for the steelwork may be able to make up the delay they have incurred."

Mr Thomson said most of the work was being done by local contractors.

"Where possible we use local contractors and that's our policy."

The project will not only enlarge the base's medical facilities, but also add a new visitors' centre and auditorium which Mr Thomson said would become a "significant tourist attraction".

When completed the base will incorporate a new emergency room as well as provisions for child and infant welfare, women's health, dental and mental health, as well as the training of medial, nursing and allied health students.

The $3m project is the first expansion of the base in 25 years, and has been funded by the federal government and donations from Sir Michael Bishop and the RFDS Women's Auxiliary.

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