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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 15446

Royal Flying Doctor Service

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/04/2007

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 15446

Today I am pleased to announce a significant boost to the Commonwealth's funding of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS).

This package provides additional funding of $154.4 million to the RFDS for the four years from 2007-08 to 2010-11, bringing the Government's total funding support for the RFDS over this period to a total of about $250 million.

The additional funding will ensure that Australians in rural and remote communities continue to access vital health services such as emergency aero-medical evacuations and primary health clinics provided by the RFDS.

Under these new arrangements, the Government is providing funding to cover the operational costs of the RFDS in delivering traditional services in rural and remote Australia. These services include emergency aero-medical evacuations, primary health and community care clinics, telehealth consultations and medical chests.

The Australian Government will for the first time provide additional ongoing funding to support the capital requirements of the RFDS, including aircraft replacement.

Further, for the first time, the Australian Government will provide funding for the RFDS to provide primary care services to the remote Bass Strait Islands. The Government will also provide a capital contribution towards the purchase of an aircraft for the delivery of RFDS services in Central Australia.

The overall funding package is a major boost to the Commonwealth's 75 year commitment to the RFDS, and will help to ensure the long term sustainability of this iconic organisation, which provides essential services to people who live, work or travel in rural and remote Australia.

The Australian Government will continue to work with the RFDS and the states and the Northern Territory to ensure that the RFDS can serve rural Australians in the manner that has proved so valuable and effective for eight decades. This will require a recognition by the states that they need to increase their level of funding to the RFDS, as the Commonwealth has done. I will be writing to Premiers and Chief Ministers later today on this matter.

I want to acknowledge the tireless and courageous contribution of the men and women who make up the RFDS. I am sure that this additional funding will assist them to continue to deliver their wonderful work.

Transcript 15446