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New airstrip to help save lives

Thursday, 23rd July, 2015

Roads Minister Duncan Gay and RFDS South Eastern Section CEO Greg Sam cut the ribbon to open the airstrip. Roads Minister Duncan Gay and RFDS South Eastern Section CEO Greg Sam cut the ribbon to open the airstrip.

Landholders to the north who require urgent medical help can now expect to get it faster courtesy of a new all-weather airstrip.

Yesterday saw the first landing on the airstrip which was part of a $4.7 million upgrade to the Silver City Highway at Shannons Creek.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay said people living on properties in the area previously had to travel up to two-and-a-half hours to get to a hospital.

Now, he said, they would be able to get to help faster - possibly saving their life.

“Previously the RFDS had to land on unsealed airstrips on isolated properties in places such as Packsaddle and Milparinka with property owners bearing the cost of maintaining the landing area,” Mr Gay said.

“This is a better solution that is safer and far more reliable.”

The RFDS’s Mark Prior said it was the first all-weather airstrip in the area, with the next closest one 130km away at Tibooburra.

“It has been great to be able to work with the NSW Government to deliver such a vital piece of infrastructure to communities and properties needing improved access to medical services in emergencies.”

Local MP Kevin Humphries said the project not only delivered a safe and serviceable airstrip but also a new improved stretch of sealed road for motorists.

“Today’s completion milestone is great news because it means we are one step closer to completing sealing works along the whole highway,” he said.

The completed upgrade is part of a $30 million upgrade of the Silver City Highway, which the government said is the biggest single investment in the road by any government.

Mr Gay said an 8.8 kilometre section of the highway was recently sealed.

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