Treasurer Tim Nicholls
Treasurer Tim Nicholls lnp.org.au

Axe for jet and EMQ helicopters?

THE taxpayer-funded jet that carts around Queensland politicians could be sold following an extensive review of all government aircraft.

The five police and emergency management helicopters, used for organ and patient transport, could also be privatised, the Queensland Treasurer confirmed on Thursday.

The State Government has asked for private companies to register their interest in running the services and if a success, the LNP will open the doors for formal expressions of interest.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the Government wanted to eventually increase the flying time of the aircraft but said the government jet could go.

"All things are on the table," he outlined. "It could involve the sale of the government jet.

"We are asking for people to come forward to tell us how these services can be provided in a way that ensures we continue to deliver, effectively, the patient transfer scheme, the organ transfer scheme and also provide support to our police and emergency services personnel.

"What we are actually hoping for is greater availability."

The Queensland Government currently spends $33 million on air services.

Mr Nicholls promised no services would be affected by the review but United Voice union state secretary Gary Bullock said the privatisation of emergency helicopters in Queensland would lead to 44 job losses.

The EMQ staff are based in Townsville, Brisbane and Cairns.


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