Community To Have A Say On Hospital Helicopter Flight Paths

08 April 2016

The Andrews Labor Government is engaging with local communities as it moves to protect the flight paths at thirteen rural and regional hospitals for helicopters transporting ill and injured Victorians for treatment.

We are taking steps to protect emergency helicopter flight paths at Ararat, Bacchus Marsh, Bairnsdale, Bendigo, Charlton, Cohuna, Donald, Heathcote, Kerang, Kyneton, St Arnaud, Stawell and Wycheproof hospitals.

This follows on from action in February to safeguard the flight paths into five key metropolitan hospitals and one rural hospital.

Following gazettal of the Design and Development Overlays for the Royal Children’s, Royal Melbourne, Alfred, Frankston, Monash Clayton and Warragul hospitals in February, seventeen hospitals now have planning protection for emergency helicopter flight paths.

As part of the next round, the Government is now proposing changes to the Ararat, Buloke, East Gippsland, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Macedon Ranges, Moorabool and Northern Grampians planning schemes for Design and Development Overlays.

Design and Development Overlays protect flight paths from being obstructed, meaning emergency helicopters can reach the hospital as quickly as possible.

The helipads and the flight paths already exist and this project does not involve the construction of new pads, other than at the new Bendigo Hospital. The Bendigo Hospital project will see a new rooftop helipad to replace the existing ground level one.

Community drop in sessions about the proposed amendments are scheduled for the week of 18 April. The drop-in sessions are being held at the following times and locations:

  • Ararat Hospital, Mt William room at Pyrenees House, Education Centre, Girdlestone Street, Ararat, Wednesday 20 April, 2-3pm
  • Bacchus Marsh Hospital, 29-35 Grant Street, Bacchus Marsh, Wednesday 20 April, 5.30-6.30pm
  • Bairnsdale Hospital, Lake King Meeting Room, 122 Day Street, Bairnsdale Friday 22 April, 12-1pm
  • Charlton Hospital, 4 Learmouth Street, Charlton, Tuesday 19 April 2016, 3.30-4.30pm
  • Cohuna Hospital, 158 King George Street, Cohuna, Tuesday 19 April, 9-10am
  • Donald Hospital, 1A Aitken Avenue, Donald, Tuesday 19 April 2016, 5.45-6.45pm
  • Heathcote Hospital, Administration Conference Room A, 39 Hospital Street, Heathcote, Monday 18 April 2016, 12-1pm
  • Kerang Hospital, 13-15 Burgoyne Street, Kerang, Tuesday 19 April 2016, 11am-midday
  • Kyneton Hospital, Ambulatory Care Centre, 7-25 Caroline Chisholm Drive, Kyneton, Monday 18 April 2016 9.30-10.30am
  • Monash University School of Rural Health (for Bendigo Hospital), Tutorial Room 3, 26 Mercy Street, Bendigo, Monday 18 April 2016, 2.30-3.30pm
  • St Arnaud Hospital, 52 North Western Road, St Arnaud, Wednesday 20 April, 9-10am
  • Stawell Hospital, Education Centre, 27-29 Sloane Street, Stawell, Wednesday 20 April, 12-1pm
  • Wycheproof Hospital, 19 Grandview Street, Wycheproof, Tuesday 19 April 2016, 1.30-2.30pm

Written submissions can be sent to until 13 May.

The amendment documentation, including maps and aerial photos of areas to be protected, is available at Link

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“We know that in emergencies every second counts – that’s why we’re taking steps to ensure our emergency helicopters can reach the hospital as soon as possible.”

“By protecting the flight paths of our emergency helicopters, we’re making sure critically ill patients can get the care they need, as fast as possible.”

“We want to hear from the community and local residents about any concerns they might have, and I encourage people to have their say.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

"Having controls in place ensures emergency helicopters can fly directly to hospitals, so patients and the staff caring for them can have a quicker flight.”

"All parts of our government work together so that Victorians receive the best possible healthcare, in this case we're making sure development and construction happens in the right places so our emergency helicopters have a clear and safe path to hospitals."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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