The Goldfields region just became a little safer, thanks to a one-million-dollar sponsorship deal that will keep our newest PC-12 turboprop aircraft 'Isla' in the air.
The Goldfields Children Charity (GCC) and Shire of Leonora last year entered into a joint five-year sponsorship agreement with RFDS, contributing towards the aircraft's operational costs.
GCC and the Shire of Leonora will each contribute $100,000 a year for the term of the agreement, which is the first of its kind for the RFDS.
The Shire of Leonora and GCC have both recognised, through this partnership, that the RFDS is an essential health service provider to the region and their contribution will ensure the longevity of these services.
RFDS Western Operations CEO Rebecca Tomkinson said the funding establishes a unique cross-sector partnership across tiers of government, charity and community service.
"This innovative partnership with state government, local government and regional charity is the first of its kind for the Flying Doctor in Western Australia," Ms Tomkinson said.
"It demonstrates what can be achieved in shared purpose for the well-being of communities.
"WA will always need a Flying Doctor and we are extremely grateful to the Goldfields community for their support in ensuring the sustainabiity of our service."
The PC-12 aircraft, named 'Isla' after a new character in the children's television show, Thomas the Tank Engine - will be based in Kalgoorlie when possible.
Over the past decade, the Flying Doctor in Western Australia has retrieved nearly 12,000 patients from the Goldfields.
The Goldfields region has a large concentration of mining operations, heavy volumes of traffic on the roads, including road trains and other traffic crossing the Nullabor Plain, as well as thousands of residents in towns as remote as Leonora and Esperance.