Legislators Push for Search and Rescue Helicopter

BULELENG ~ Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik has promised to push for the purchase of a search and rescue helicopter for Bali, an official said.

Wacik, who is the only Balinese member of the presidential cabinet, announced his intentions during a ceremony at the regent of Buleleng’s office last Friday.

Wacik’s said he would discuss the issue with legislators in Jakarta, as he feels the helicopter is much needed.

Member of Badung’s legislature Gede Sumarjaya Linggih said he and other members of the government were fully supportive of the idea, saying they would push the issue in the next legislative session.

“I’m 90 percent sure we will be able to buy the helicopter. I’m convinced our battle will be successful,” Linggih said.

Previously, Bali’s governor, I Made Mangku Pastika, complained about Bali’s lack of a helicopter, saying it negatively affected the tourism industry.

“If Bali has no search and rescue helicopter, how can we ask Australia to remove travel warnings if our facilities, security and safety are lacking?” Pastika said.

Bali currently relies on assistance from a helicopter based in Surabaya, which according to Bali officials is too far away and requires time-consuming bureaucratic procedures to use it in emergencies.

Filed under: The Island

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