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Surf Life Saving to join battle for $16m in chopper funds

A stoush over $16 million of asets is playing out in the Supreme Court between the former and new operators of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.
A stoush over $16 million of asets is playing out in the Supreme Court between the former and new operators of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter. Contributed

A NINE day adjournment was granted in the ongoing dispute between the former and new operators of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter in the Supreme Court.

Plaintiff, Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service Limited, sought the adjournment, citing that they wanted to explore joining Surf Life Saving Australia and other parties to the case.

All parties were present in court on Tuesday morning: the plaintiff, the first defendant and old operator Northern Region S.L.S.A Helicopter Rescue Service as well as the second defendant the Attorney General.

In a very brief mention at the court in Sydney, Registrar Walton said she was happy to adjourn the matter.

The matter will return to court on Thursday, September 28.

A break down in talks between the two charities occurred in July over the distribution of $16 million in assets held by the old operator.

The former operator's constitution outlined how the funds would be distributed on dissolution but the new operators say the money should be reinvested back into supporting the chopper.

It sparked the plaintiff to put the case to the Supreme Court.

Court documents obtained by the Northern Star reveal that the case was first heard in the Supreme Court on August 8.

Since the matter was first before the court, there have been two directions hearings.

Chief executive of the new operator, Richard Jones, and chairman of the former operator, Warren Tozer, have both said there was still scope for mediation and the opportunity for all parties to discuss their issues.

Topics:  northern rivers community northern rivers court supreme court westpac life saver rescue helicopter



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