New Volunteer Marine Rescue Organisation
The Rees Government will establish a new volunteer marine rescue organisation to be called NSW Marine Rescue.
The formation of the new body, which was the main conclusion of the John Price report into the volunteer marine rescue movement, was jointly announced today by Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi and the
Minister for Emergency Services, Tony Kelly.
“NSW currently has three voluntary marine rescue organisations, with an assortment of vessels, operational bases and hundreds of wonderful volunteers,” Mr Tripodi said.
“The Price Report considered their structures, adequacy and sustainability and recommended the establishment of a new rescue group, with membership to be invited from the existing three volunteer organisations.”
Mr Tripodi said ninety-three per cent of almost 800 submissions to the inquiry supported the creation of a new marine rescue group.
“I am pleased to announce the Hon Diane Beamer MP will chair a Facilitation Group to begin the implementation of NSW Marine Rescue.
“The transitional period will be 2 years as recommended.
“The Government will provide $3 million towards establishing the new organisation and will also maintain NSW Maritime’s annual funding of $1.35 million during the transition period.”
Mr Kelly said the submissions expressed support for ongoing government involvement in marine rescue through the NSW Police, NSW Maritime and the State Rescue Board. Submissions also called for greater recognition of
the work of volunteers.
“Membership to the new body will be invited from the three existing organisations: Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, Royal Australian Coastal Patrol and Volunteer Rescue Association.
“The State Government acknowledges and values the contribution of the volunteers over many years and this new organisation will see that contribution continue well into the future for the benefit of our boating community.”
The Facilitation Group will consider a range of issues stemming from the submissions received and the remaining recommendations from the Price Report including:
• Government reimbursement of fuel and oil costs;
• The provision and accreditation of training; and
• Ongoing funding.
Mr Kelly said the new service would eliminate duplication of existing resources, with the aim to standardise vessels, equipment and training.