Tender Awarded For Rescue Helicopter Hangar Extensions

Mackay’s Fergus Builders have been awarded the tender for the $3.2 million refurbishment and extension project at the RACQ CQ Rescue hangar at Mackay Airport.

 The CQ Rescue Capacity Enhancement Project will assist the Mackay-based rescue helicopter service enhance the level of aeromedical and retrieval service delivery and meet increased demand from communities across Central and North Queensland.

RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Ian Rowan said the hangar extension project would ‘future-proof’ the organisation and enable the expansion of service capacity by delivering improved response times, improved training facilities and greater access to health care for those in dire medical need.

This refurbishment project at the Mike Jones Street hangar will begin on later this month and will take about six to eight months to complete. The new premises, which will accommodate the entire CQ Rescue staff including operations, administration and fundraising under one roof, was made possible through the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Funding Grant.

Fergus Builders was a locally owned and operated firm with more than 30 years experience in a variety of commercial, industrial and residential projects. One of their more significant projects was the construction of the new Dudley Denny Library for Mackay Regional Council in the City Heart.

The hangar extension was a “much-needed and a “long-awaited development” for the service, which clocks up its 23rd anniversary in September, Mr Rowan said. The key activities to be undertaken at the CQ Rescue existing premises at Mackay Airport included the construction of a double-storey building, reconfigurations and refurbishment of existing areas and extension of existing carpark. The planned extensions will also include an established Aviation/Natural Disaster Coordination Centre with access to the latest technology.

Rescue helicopter crew facilities would be extended, doubling the number of bedrooms, and existing limited office space will be expanded over two levels. A mezzanine floor will also be added to the hangar for additional storage and virtual training resources.

The project would create jobs, have a positive impact on local economic activity, enhance community facilities and industry leadership capacity. CQ Rescue will have improved capacity to deliver better health outcomes for the region through the provision of enhanced emergency response aeromedical services. Improved team coordination and integration, improved fundraising capacity, enhanced efficiency and safety, longevity and sustainability are all ways that CQ Rescue and the community it serves will benefit from this endeavour.

“With the predicted growth in the mining, agricultural and tourism industries, all of which are reliant on timely aeromedical response due to their geographic isolation, combined with increasingly poor health scores across the region’s population, the future dictates an even greater increase in the necessity for and reliance on our community-funded aeromedical service,” Mr Rowan said.

“CQ Rescue provides rapid response aeromedical retrieval services that are vital to meeting the required response time for critical medical emergencies in rural and remote areas. Without CQ Rescue, many more fatalities and severely adverse health outcomes would be experienced across the region,” he said.

“Last year RACQ CQ Rescue completed a record 636 missions across an area in Central Queensland which is more than four times the size of Tasmania.,” Mr Rowan said.

"That’s a huge workload and this project will help ensure our new world-class facility will meet the aeromedical requirements of an increasing population; projected industry and community demands and open up several commercial revenue opportunities for us.”