I’m hosting Deputy Premier John Barilaro
in Lake Macquarie this morning to show him how our area could provide this State and others with an effective, reliable and capable aerial firefighting capacity.
Few people may have heard of Skyline Aviation Group
, but they’re a local company which recently acquired 11 Seahawk helicopters from the Australian Navy. Some are currently being repurposed for aerial firefighting duties. Having this sort of capacity was among the many recommendations handed down by the recent inquiry into last year’s NSW bushfires and the subsequent Royal Commission.
Having these heavy-lift helicopters based here makes sense, both economically and in terms of meeting the challenges that bushfires create throughout this State and beyond. What they need is a bit of Government support to retain the assets when the fires aren’t burning.
I’ve discussed this opportunity with the Government on a number of occasions, so I’m pleased the Deputy Premier has come up to see Skyline's local base first-hand. Fair to say that he was highly impressed with what Skyline and Lake Macquarie can offer.
Will post a video later today to show you the work that Skyline has been doing. I think you’ll be similarly impressed.
I recently spoke in Parliament about the Skyline project. You can read that here