Funding boost lifts hopes for rescue vessel
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.”