DISRUPTION TO COAST GUARD OPERATIONS IN DOUGLAS
Dear Minister Ryan,
As you are no doubt already aware, members of the Coast Guard Flotilla QF10 have unanimously voted to transition their marine rescue operation in Port Douglas from the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA) to the management of the Marine Rescue Queensland (VMRAQ).
My fellow Councillors and I attended a public meeting on Monday July 17 in Mossman with approximately 100 community members who overwhelmingly voted their support for the local QF10 members in their endeavours to transition to VMRAQ.
I have been advised that currently any Coast Guard marine services will be provided from Cairns resulting in rescue support being several hours away by land or sea.
This additional time requirement for rescue services is therefore of serious concern.
Our local QF10 has always been responsive and this is a crucial element of successful rescue services, particularly given that water based activities are extremely popular for Douglas Shire residents as well as the tourism sector.
I understand this process is managed under the Service Agreement with AVCGA and your Emergency Services Department. On behalf of the Douglas community I respectfully request your assistance to:
Restore effective marine service to the Douglas Shire by insisting the AVCGA reinstate the QF10 members and allow access to the community facilities.
Instigate a speedy mediation to allow the QF10 members to transition to VMRAQ and all the community marine rescue assets and rights to be transferred to their local Incorporate Association.
On a personal note I can say I know many of the members of QF10 quite well and find them to be reliable, sensible, capable and community spirited individuals and I am confident they will be able to thrive as a marine rescue service under the new arrangement.
Minister, I greatly appreciate your consideration of the concerns outlined above and I very much hope that we can work together to swiftly resolve the matter and secure marine rescue services locally for the Douglas area.
Julia Leu, Douglas Shire Mayor
Elaine “NG”, Mary Fapani, John Anich, Vivienne Ruffles, Jill Bellero, Vanda Scomazzon, Rose Gusmeroli, Jen Ryan, Annette Anich, Elise Fischer and Loretta Zammataro from Meals on Wheels.