New commitment to Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service
August 01, 2012

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is a key emergency service for towns across northern and central west NSW, where many NSW miners and their families live. But the service doesn’t just support NSW Miners – it’s a crucial resource for the whole community.

Starting as a voluntary summer beach patrol in 1975, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has grown to a full-time aeromedical search and rescue operation. With four helicopters undertaking over 1,400 missions each year, the service covers towns across the Hunter, Central Coast, Hunter, New England North West regions and part of the Central West. 

Thanks to community support for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, nobody has ever had to pay to be airlifted from an emergency, and NSW Miners are proud to have been involved for over three decades. For starters, thousands of miners working in NSW have contributed to the Westpac helicopter service from their weekly wage. In 2010, NSW Miners (through Coal Services Pty Ltd) offered a $1 million donation to help fit out a new aircraft, and NSW Mining has committed to contributing another $270,000 to this important resource.

“Unlike other mining States, our employees tend to live and work near our mines. That’s why it’s important for us to invest in this Service that does so much to assist our local communities,” says NSW Mining CEO Stephen Galilee.

NSW Miners recognise how important such community services are to the 1.2 million people living in the service area. 

“This renewed partnership helps us to ensure we can keep providing this service to the community free of charge. The ongoing commitment from the mining industry is extensive, providing assistance throughout our volunteer network and to the families of those who have been airlifted,” said Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service General Manager Richard Jones.


Pictured: Adam Tyrrell - Community Relations Officer for Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, George Souris MP - Member for Upper Hunter, Minister for Tourism Major Events Hospitality and Racing and Minister for the Arts,  Cliff Marsh OAM - Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Chair, Stephen Galilee - CEO NSW Minerals Council. 

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