Government aircraft to be replaced by private contractors

THE Newman Government has flagged replacing its aging government aircraft by leasing from a private contractor.

The move currently under consideration comes as the State Government transfers all of its emergency helicopters, police and fixed wing aircraft under one umbrella - the Government Air Service.

The announcement follows a lengthy review of the state's air assets, which included weighing up whether to outsource air services completely.

Police and Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey revealed on Friday he would not pursue that controversial option.

"Combining the services will ensure Queenslanders get the best value for money from police and emergency air operations while retaining our highly experienced air crews and maintaining an exceptional standard of service," he said.

"There will be no change in the capability of emergency helicopters and aircraft, which will ensure there is no impact on the arrangements for the disaster season.

"These structural changes are all about ensuring Queenslanders receive the best services at the best value for money."

Mr Dempsey said the government would consider replacing the government's aircraft in the medium to long term through lease arrangements with the private sector.

This could also include outsourcing the fleet's maintenance.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls sparked the review of the Government Air Wing, Queensland Police Air Wing and Emergency Management Queensland helicopters last year and revealed the government spent $33 million on air services.



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