Chief Minister Michael Gunner has officially opened Katherine’s new ambulance station.
“It’s a dream we have had for a long time,” St John’s chief executive Ross Coburn said today.
“This was built for now and for the future.”
Mr Gunner said it had taken 20 years of planning, fund-raising and building to reach the current stage when the building is now in use off the Stuart Highway near the police station.
“The work was started under the CLP and finished under Labor,” Mr Gunner said.
“I look forward now to a new fire station being built next door.”
The new centre will accommodate ambulance crew and staff and also provide accommodation for visiting staff, a venue for training, a work space for disaster management personnel backing up the Darwin site, and will facilitate overflow disaster patient care.
The new multi-purpose 1000sqm ambulance station is a single level structure and will accommodate ambulance crew/staff on a 24 hour basis.
The NT Government contributed $7.6m to the project from the sale of TIO and was a “key component” of the flood mitigation strategy for the town as the current ambulance centre in Kintore Street was prone to flooding.
Darwin-based business C&R Constructions Pty Ltd was awarded the tender.
Mr Coburn said the centre will bring an array of community benefits to the Katherine community.
"Moving the St John Ambulance Centre provides a great opportunity after years of operating out of a centre that we've well and truly grown out of," Mr Coburn said.
"There is the opportunity for real growth in the future having upgraded facilities at the new centre.
"The new centre allows us to have a real home for our volunteers."
The NT Government is also spending $8m to build a new fire station in Katherine.
The $5m originally promised for the police station revamp will instead help fund the $8m for the fire station, which will be built opposite the new St John Ambulance station and opposite the police headquarters on the Stuart Highway.
Mr Gunner said the new fire station would give the police extra room to expand into their existing facility.