Fund­ing boost lifts hopes for res­cue ves­sel

Southern Telegraph - - News - Ai­den Boy­ham

Rockingham Vol­un­teer Sea Res­cue could be in line to re­ceive a much­needed fund­ing boost af­ter the State Gov­ern­ment con­firmed $19.5 mil­lion would be in­vested in WA’s Vol­un­teer Ma­rine Res­cue Ser­vice.

Last Fri­day, Emer­gency Ser­vices Min­is­ter Fran Lo­gan con­firmed the fund­ing boost would take place over the next four years, with funds set to come on the back of a $28 in­crease to the Emer­gency Ser­vices Levy in metropoli­tan ar­eas and $8 to $17 on av­er­age in re­gional WA.

Rockingham Vol­un­teer Sea Res­cue pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Craig Bryce said the group would be de­lighted if the fund­ing boost al­lowed them to re­place their long-serv­ing main res­cue ves­sel, Jaimee Lee.

“Jaimee Lee has been serv­ing ex­clu­sively on our lo­cal wa­ters since 2009,” Mr Bryce said.

“Our lat­est up­grade was self-funded by our group, to keep Jaimee Lee in fully op­er­a­tional con­di­tion, 24/7.

“She has had pe­ri­odic up­grades, both with our­selves and pre­vi­ously with the WA Wa­ter Po­lice, how­ever since be­ing com­mis­sioned in 2005 and serv­ing the WA and lo­cal ma­rine pub­lic, a re­place­ment ves­sel is our pri­or­ity.”

With fund­ing from the State Gov­ern­ment his­tor­i­cally scarce, Rockingham Vol­un­teer Sea Res­cue has of­ten had to rely on lo­cal sup­port.

“Our group has been for­tu­nate to have had some great lo­cal busi­ness spon­sors, lo­cal sup­port­ers who each help us each year; pub­lic do­na­tions and the many sausage siz­zles at Bun­nings where the pub­lic have been most gen­er­ous,” Mr Bryce said.

“This has al­ways been in ad­di­tion to op­er­a­tional fund­ing from DFES.”

Mr Lo­gan said any­one who used the wa­ter and the coast would recog­nise the groups were de­serv­ing of the boost.

“In a State such as Western Aus­tralia, where so many peo­ple en­joy the coast and ma­rine life­style, it is vi­tal we do all we can to sup­port those that are there for us if things go wrong,” Mr Lo­gan said.

“Many of them have op­er­ated for decades with their own fundrais­ing ef­forts or with lim­ited grants, so it is very pleas­ing to see that the mod­est in­crease in the Emer­gency Ser­vices Levy will go to­wards mak­ing th­ese groups safer and more ef­fi­cient.”

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