Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

VMR Whitsunday will no longer mon­i­tor marine com­mu­ni­ca­tions chan­nels 81 and 82.

The two chan­nels that have been in use by Whitsunday boat­ies for 20 years will be out of ac­tion for the fore­see­able fu­ture, due to the aged equip­ment re­quir­ing main­te­nance and up­grades.

VMR Whitsunday’s Tom Man­ning went to great lengths to raise the fund­ing re­quired to upgrade the iconic chan­nel 81 and 82 re­peaters but was un­able to at­tract in­ter­est at a com­mu­nity, lo­cal, state or federal level.

VMR Whitsunday pres­i­dent Ray Lewis said while they no longer had any re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ra­dio re­peaters, there was hope they would be re­stored.

“Dis­cus­sion with the Whitsunday Bare­boat Op­er­a­tors As­so­ci­a­tion and the Whitsunday Char­ter Boat In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion have been fruit­ful how­ever, as the as­so­ci­a­tions have agreed to take over the li­cences and re­pair the re­peaters,” he said.

Whitsunday Bare­boat As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Trevor Rees said he would like to see work done to fix the chan­nel 81 and 82 re­peaters as soon as pos­si­ble.

“We are cer­tainly keen to get it go­ing as soon as we can as there is cer­tainly a (fre­quency) gap in the outer reef and once we get goa­head from VMR that they no longer in­tend to use those re­peaters we will get them re­paired,” Mr Rees said.

In the mean­time VMR Whitsunday urges ev­ery­one on the wa­ter to subscribe to the emer­gency chan­nel 16 and sup­ple­men­tary chan­nel 67, which will be mon­i­tored in­stead.

This will be on a 24-hour ba­sis from Mon­day to Fri­day and be­tween 7am-5pm on week­ends.

VMR pres­i­dent Ray Lewis uses the Chan­nel 16 and 67 con­sole.

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