The NSW Minns Labor Government is investing $73 million in Marine Rescue NSW over the next four years, as the volunteer water rescue service had its busiest year on record.
The major funding was announced at Stockton today, where a new $3 million Marine Rescue NSW base was officially opened by Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib and Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley.
Built by a family-owned construction company based in NSW, the new Stockton facility is a purpose-built search and rescue coordination centre funded by a $2 million grant from NSW Crown Lands and an investment from Marine Rescue NSW.
The 600 square metre, two level building features a radio room, crew and training areas, administration areas, vessel and equipment storage and can act as a command centre during major incidents.
The Minns Labor Government is also investing significantly in Marine Rescue NSW’s fleet, including three new multi-purpose vessels currently being built in the Hunter.
These vessels will be used to assist other agencies during significant emergencies, such as floods. When the vessels are not used for flood response, they will be part of the Marine Rescue NSW fleet assisting boaters in need.
The additional funding will be invested in new fleet including new rescue vessels for Lake Macquarie, Trial Bay and Brunswick units in the first year. It will also contribute to the refurbishment of nine other rescue vessels.
Last financial year, Marine Rescue NSW conducted a record 4,548 search and rescue missions, returning more than 10,000 people safely to shore, it’s busiest year to date.
Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said:
“Marine Rescue NSW volunteers are the unsung heroes of our waterways, and they play a vital role in keeping people who enjoy our oceans, lakes and rivers safe.”
“Our beautiful waterways will continue to be busy this summer, so it is important Marine Rescue NSW has the resources and facilities it needs to carry out its important role.”
“This investment is recognition of volunteers’ dedication and an assurance that they will have the resources and support needed to save lives.”
Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley said:
“The new Marine Rescue NSW base is a welcomed addition to supporting local and visiting boaters to the Newcastle area.”
“The Hunter Coast is one the busiest boating regions in the state and it is reassuring for the community to know that the team of highly skilled volunteers are ready to respond.”
“Marine Rescue NSW and NSW Police Marine Area Command work closely together to serve the boating community and this building provides a fit-for-purpose base for joint operations.”
“On behalf of the people of the Hunter, and all of our boating visitors, I thank the hardworking Marine Rescue Newcastle volunteers for their dedication and commitment to helping keep our beautiful waterways as safe as possible.”
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell said:
“The NSW Government fully supports our mission of saving lives on the water and this four-year funding agreement ensures that our skilled volunteers from the Tweed to Eden and inland at the Alpine Lakes and Moama can continue assisting boaters in need.
“In the first year this funding will facilitate the construction of new rescue vessels for our Lake Macquarie, Trial Bay and Brunswick units.
“It will also contribute to the refurbishment of nine other rescue vessels and assist with the development of 24/7 communication hubs across the state.”
Marine Rescue Newcastle Unit Commander Lyn Van Homrigh said:
“The new base provides a major boost to the region’s boating community.
“This new facility has expanded our search and rescue capabilities and has already played a vital role in numerous emergency responses.
Grabs of Minister Dib, MRNSW Commissioner Alex Barrell and Marine Rescue Newcastle Unit Commander Lyn Van Homrigh:
NSW Government funding announcement and Marine Rescue Newcastle base opening:
MRNSW operational b-roll: