A new heavy machinery crane was officially unveiled on 17 February 2015 which will shorten maintenance turnaround times for the region’s rescue helicopter service.
In 2013 the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service was successful in its application to the final round of the $5m Shenhua Watermark Community Fund for the installation of a 5 tonne gantry overhead crane which enhances the safety for their engineers and reduces any downtime associated with maintenance of the aircraft. The installation of the gantry crane ensures that the Tamworth facility will be a state of the art heavy maintenance centre for the community.
Attending the opening were local member Kevin Anderson MP, Tamworth Council Deputy Mayor Russell Webb, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service General Manager Richard Jones, Graincorp Commodity Manager Nathan Eather and Shenhua representatives Gerry McDonald, Human Resources Manager, and Debbie Watson, Community Liaison Officer.
Richard Jones said, "The more you fly the more you have to fix them and there has been a slight increase in mission numbers. With the installation of the gantry crane we now have the ability to lift engines out comfortably and safely. The new crane and associated structural works to the hanger cost $150,000 and was only made possible through donations. We sincerely thank both Shenhua Watermark and Graincorp for their great contribution to the project."
Cliff Marsh, Chairman of the Board, said that we are very fortunate to have such special partnerships with both Shenhua Watermark and Graincorp and he cannot emphasis enough how much it will assist in the maintenance of the helicopters.
Max Cathcart, Chairman of the Tamworth Advisory Committee thanked Shenhua Watermark and Graincorp and said the depth of appreciation in the North West area is unbelievable. The Service is looking forward to a bright future with new contracts and contractors which will greatly improve services.
Shenhua representative, Gerry McDonald said, "Shenhua is very pleased to be able to assist the Service in such a practical way through our Shenhua Watermark Community Fund. The Community Fund was five million dollars over five years and this crane is part of the last round of the $5m."
"You cannot efficiently or safely do a job without the right tools and so this gantry crane will be a boon to the efficiency and safety of the aircraft maintenance crew. The Community Fund Advisory Committee recommended this project primarily based on the great importance of the medical services offered by the Service and the fact that more efficient maintenance will help boost helicopter availability and thus further enhance the Service."
"We commend the Service for their prompt implementation of the Project and look forward to a long partnership", he said.
The new $150,000 heavy –lifting crane and structural works was unveiled at an official ceremony featuring local member Kevin Anderson MP and staff from the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Shenhua Watermark and Graincorp.