- More than $19 million over four years for local sea rescue groups
- First time long-term funding secured
- Funding for much-needed fleet and safety upgrades
The McGowan Labor Government has addressed another shameful Liberal National Government legacy by investing a record additional $19.5 million over four years in the State’s Volunteer Marine Rescue Service (VMRS).
This unprecedented funding gives the State’s Volunteer Marine Rescue Service groups secure, long-term funding for the first time since being brought under the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
In some cases, volunteer groups have been operating with vessels that are 20 years old or older.
This financial year’s funding has been significantly boosted by $3 million and will grow by $4.5 million in 2019-20, and $6 million a year in 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Western Australia’s Volunteer Marine Rescue Service groups have a long, proud history of fundraising to support their vital sea rescue efforts.
This practice will continue, but this record funding will go towards fit-for-purpose buildings, towing vehicles, trailers, radio communication infrastructure, and specialist marine rescue and safety equipment over the four years.
The funding will also include the creation of two regionally-based support roles in Geraldton and Karratha to provide administrative and training support. This will give volunteers more time for training and operational duty.
The unprecedented funding will make a significant difference to VMRS groups and will be funded by the recently announced modest increase in the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) of $28, on average, in metropolitan areas and between $8 to $17, on average, in regional areas.
Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan:
“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.
“This record funding will bring much-needed safety and infrastructure investment to our Volunteer Marine Rescue Service groups.
“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.
“A modest increase to the ESL has not only funded the new Rural Fire Division, but has now provided significant investment in our sea rescue groups.
“Anyone who enjoys the water and the coast will recognise these groups are deserving recipients of this record funding.”