TELSTRA Child Flight is hoping the community will help buy it a little time by signing a petition for action.
This week Child Flight announced it would be wrapping up its emergency helicopter retrieval service from January 1 after it failed to win a tender with NSW Ambulance to provide the service after 23 years.
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said Child Flight asked the state government to tender out the service because it was facing financial difficulties and may not have been able to continue.
Child Flight board secretary Matt Hogg said those meetings 12 months ago did discuss Child Flight’s financial situation, but they had expressed interest in future tenders.
Child Flight decided the best way forward for the tender was to form a joint venture with another operator under the name Children’s Retrieval Helicopter Services.
Despite this, the contract was lost to Care Flight.
Child Flight is now trying to petition the state government to meet a contractual obligation to give the organisation a six-month period to finalise itself.
According to Child Flight, the contract it holds with NSW Health states in the event Child Flight is not able to continue into another contact, it will be given six months for the development of a migration service plan.
Child Flight has only been given until December 31.
A community petition will lobby the state government to see that agreement upheld to off set the significant challenges Child Flight says it will face in trying to re-establish a charitable business to continue fund-raising.
Child Flight Wagga Support Group volunteer Angela Burns said many Riverina families were devastated by the news and wanted to ensure the organisation’s fund-raising arm could remain alive as a legacy of its important work.
Want to sign the petition?
Volunteers with petitions will be located on Forsyth Street between the Wagga Marketplace and Sturt Mall throughout Saturday.
The petition is available at more than 30 Wagga businesses and child care centres. By visiting the Telstra Child Flight Facebook page you can download a copy to fill in.
Anyone wishing to find out more can phone Ms Burns on 0419 213 541.