A civil dispute is playing out in the Supreme Court between the old and new Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter operators.
A civil dispute is playing out in the Supreme Court between the old and new Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter operators. Marc Stapelberg

Battle over our chopper to play out in Supreme Court

A CIVIL dispute involving the new and former operators of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter is unfolding in the Supreme Court in Sydney.

The new operator, Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service Limited is the plaintiff in the case against the previous operator, Northern Region Surf Life Saving Association (S.L.S.A) Helicopter Rescue Service Proprietary Limited.

The case is listed for directions in the Supreme Court next Tuesday.

Being a former director of the service, Lismore MP Thomas George said it would be inappropriate to make comment.

Federal MP Kevin Hogan said the chopper was "a wonderful service" for the Northern Rivers community.

"I would like to see (the court case) resolved as quickly and expediently as possible," Mr Hogan said.

The Northern Star has applied to the Supreme Court to obtain information about the claim.

Lawyers for the plaintiff and defendant were contacted for comment by the Northern Star.

The State Government's moved in March to invest $151 million into the creation of a new state network to comprise of a uniform structure, training and aircraft.

Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service Limited became the new operator of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter after securing a 10-year contact with the State Government.

The new operator came about as a result of a merger with the old operator and its Hunter, New England and North West Region counterparts to win the contract.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has operated for more than 35 years and has attends nearly 1,500 missions each year.

Next week, the chopper is expected to open its new headquarters in Lismore.



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