Port and Waterways Minister meets Marine Rescue Volunteers

Minister meets Shoalhaven Marine Rescue Volunteers
Friday, January 23, 2009
The formation of a new Volunteer Marine Rescue group was a hot topic of conversation today as Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi visited the Shoalhaven Marine Rescue Association.

“There has been overwhelming support for setting up a state-wide Volunteer Marine Rescue Group,” Mr Tripodi said.

“I wanted to take the time while in the Shoalhaven area to meet the volunteers and hear first hand their experiences with marine rescue operations.

“They’re ordinary people doing an extraordinary job. I want to listen to their views and plan for the future of the Volunteer Marine Rescue group in NSW.”

NSW currently has three volunteer marine rescue organisations, with an assortment of vessels, operational bases and hundreds of dedicated volunteers.
The NSW Government will provide $3 million towards establishing the new organisation and will maintain the current annual funding of $1.35 million during the transition period.

Mr Tripodi said he is looking forward to lively discussion on a range of important foundation topics to be discussed at the first VMR Facilitation meeting on January 31.
“Representatives from the State Rescue Board, NSW Maritime and the Marine Area Command (Water Police) will attend the forum and set down guidelines for moving forward with the creation of the new Volunteer Marine Rescue group,” he said.
“The new unified organisation will eliminate duplication and provide a more consistent coverage across the State. There will be many other advantages like training, standardised vessels and a re-engineered radio network,” Mr Tripodi said.