Police Minister Jack Dempsey has announced a contract with Surf Life Saving Queensland Inc for the use of the new Westpac Surf Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter for police aerial operations within the Gold Coast region.
Mr Dempsey said the new agreement would continue a police presence in the air using the CBS5 Eurocopter.
"I thank Westpac and Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) for coming on board with the Newman Government to secure the future of the Gold Coast police helicopter," Mr Dempsey said.
"The helicopter, marked with police regalia, includes improved service capabilities with the latest crime fighting technology on board the aircraft.
"It includes an infrared camera and a powerful searchlight as additional tools to enhance police aerial operations.
"The Westpac Surf Lifesaver helicopter also has collision avoidance systems and a synthetic vision system (virtual imagery of terrain and air traffic).
"The police helicopter has already dealt with tasks from vehicle and person surveillance to assisting ground based officers in the apprehension of suspects evading police. This technology will further help police tackle crime on the Gold Coast."
Mr Dempsey said the new contract was part of the Newman Government's commitment to delivering two dedicated police helicopters for the Gold Coast and South East Queensland by 2014/15.
"This arrangement will also provide better value for money for taxpayers, with a twin engine helicopter replacing the previous single engine aircraft," he said.
"This contract delivers a secure hangar for the helicopter at Westpac's Carrara base, and an on-site police presence with the temporary relocation of the Helicopter Support Unit."
"Helicopter Support Unit has become an invaluable part of the region's policing and the new helicopter will be a welcome addition to the skies over the Coast."
Mr Dempsey said the QPS are currently un dergoing a tender process for the provision of helicopter services for 18 months to ensure service continuity beyond the expiry of this three month contract.
Minister for Police and Community Safety
The Honourable Jack Dempsey