WA Police will get a new helicopter, with the Labor Government today announcing the decision to provide $26.9 million in this year’s State Budget to fund the new chopper.
It will replace the almost 30-year-old Kawasaki BK117, which has reached the end of its useful life.
The Eurocopter Dauphin will remain part of the Air Wing fleet.
Part funding for the helicopter has been sourced from the Road Trauma Trust Account, with balance is to be funded from the Consolidated Account.
The new helicopter will be equipped with modern technology and systems which provide enhanced safety, reliability and operating efficiencies.
“Despite the former Liberal National Government being told many years ago about the ageing police helicopter fleet, they did nothing when they had the capacity to do so,” Police Minister Michelle Roberts said.
“The result is a helicopter which is now spending more time in the hangar, undergoing maintenance, than in the air providing crucial support to frontline police.
“This Government takes the matter of community safety very seriously and in very tight financial circumstances, we have prioritised this funding.
“Helicopters have proven very effective in ending high-speed pursuits safely, so it is essential that we equip our police with a reliable aircraft.”