Marine Rescue Services buoyed by $470k boost

Queensland boating and marine enthusiasts will be safer on the water following the announcement of a $470,000 grant program for Volunteer Marine Rescue Squadrons and Coast Guard Flotillas to support emergency response capability.

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan MP, said the new investment would enhance marine rescue services across the State.

“To complement our $35 million commitment to establish an integrated single marine rescue service following the recommendations of the Blue Water Review, this grant program will directly support frontline units and relieve the fundraising burden on volunteers,” Mr Ryan said.

“This program will provide funding to the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA) and Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Queensland (VMRAQ) to administer grants of $10,000 to each of Queensland’s Volunteer Marine Rescue Squadrons and Coast Guard Flotillas.

“These grants can be used to fund facility maintenance and enhancement or to purchase necessary equipment and services to support marine rescue operations.

“Our dedicated marine rescue volunteers have long provided a vital service keeping Queenslanders safe and we want to ensure they are supported in the work they do.

“Individual squadrons and flotillas will be empowered to consider their local needs and priorities as a part of the new funding.

“The investment will do double duty with valuable dollars being directed to Queensland businesses as marine rescue units purchase much-needed equipment.”

Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association State Manager, Mr Peter Smith welcomed the much-needed additional support from Government.

“Our AVCGA Flotillas will directly benefit from these grants and the volunteers will welcome the assistance to continue to provide the high level of services to the community,” Mr Smith said.

Volunteer Marine Rescue Association of Queensland President, Dr Graham Kingston welcomed the additional support for Volunteer Marine Rescue.

“This additional funding is recognition of the Government's ongoing commitment to improving the sustainability of the Volunteer Marine Rescue sector,” Dr Kingston said.

“Ongoing work with the implementation of the Blue Water Review is further evidence of that commitment.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Greg Leach said the additional funding would make a difference to marine rescue services in Queensland.

“It will support the provision of marine search and rescue resources including radio communications and safety equipment and foster improved community awareness of safety issues in the blue water environment,” Mr Leach said.

“We’re a state with more than 250,000 registered boats and watercraft. That’s one for every 19 residents.

“We also welcome millions of tourists each year who are lured by our sun, sand and spectacular waterways.

“This is why it’s important to build capacity and confidence for Queensland residents and tourists to enjoy what our state has to offer.”

The additional funds will be provided to the AVCGA and VMRAQ via long standing agreements with QFES in the forthcoming financial year with funding to be expended by the end of June 2022.

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