The North Coast’s NSW Nationals MPs say local people power and fierce lobbying on their behalf has led to the extraordinary result of the Northern Rivers being allocated nearly a quarter of the 69 new state of the art ambulances ordered by the NSW Government at a cost of nearly $12 million.

Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis said the timing could not be better for the Clarence and Richmond Valleys he represents, with the Nationals in NSW Government about to begin construction of Iluka’s first ever ambulance station.

“We also have recently delivered a new helipad at Maclean, a new ambulatory care unit at Grafton and planning money for a major of upgrade of Grafton Base Hospital,” Mr Gulaptis said.

Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provest who recently delivered Pottsville’s first ever ambulance station said the new state of the art fleet would be serving the new state of the art Tweed Valley Hospital.

“For the North Coast to get 16 out of 69 new ambulances, which is almost as many as the whole of the Sydney Basin, shows the determination of local people and their Nationals representatives to get better regional health outcomes,” Mr Provest said.

The NSW Nationals’ Ben Franklin, who represents the region in the Legislative Council, said fitting higher tech equipment in the ambulances, including upgraded life-saving defibrillators, video laryngoscopes and mechanical CPR devices, would buy life-saving time for patients before they reached hospital emergency departments.

“In 2020-21 the Nationals in NSW Government are investing more than $1 billion in NSW Ambulance, including $27 million for 180 new staff, the third tranche of the 2018 commitment to recruit 750 more paramedic and control centre staff over four years,” Mr Franklin said.