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Qld Marine Rescue Implementation Program – Program update

Program update for February 2024

Roadmap to Marine Rescue Queensland

Eleven squadrons and flotillas have been identified to join Marine Rescue Queensland in Phase 1.

What is this journey going to look like?

The first step is for each unit to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI), an important document that signifies a preliminary agreement between the marine rescue unit and the MRIP. It stands as a formal indication of the unit’s willingness to join Marine Rescue Queensland. It’s more than just paperwork; it’s a symbol of unity, a pledge to work together toward the common goal of uniting the two great forces of VMRAQ and AVCGA. We believe that together, we are stronger, and that’s what Marine Rescue Queensland will deliver. We’re thrilled to let you know we have received signed LOIs from:

  • VMR Hervey Bay
  • QF17 Tin Can Bay
  • VMR Mackay
  • VMR Gladstone
  • QF4 Caloundra
  • VMR Jacob’s Well

More LOIs are expected to arrive within the coming week and we will provide you with an update when those occur.

What’s next, you ask?

An MRIP Unit Transition Team will work closely alongside each Phase 1 unit to undertake discovery and due diligence. During this process, comprehensive information and data about all aspects of the unit will be collected and understood. Any challenges to joining Marine Rescue Queensland will be uncovered and can be addressed.

Concurrently, the unit’s transition process will be mapped. Everything from when your uniform order needs to be placed to when ID photos will be taken, systems installed and tested, building and ramp signage measured and installed, induction and onboarding training, receiving all the Marine Rescue Queensland Standard Operating Procedures, and much more. This comprehensive timeline is what’s going to bring the transition to MRQ to life, and we’re so excited to work together with the Phase 1 units to develop this journey.

The transition to Marine Rescue Queensland is more than just a change of name or structure; it’s about building a stronger, more cohesive community of rescue volunteers. By joining Marine Rescue Queensland we’re not only consolidating our resources and expertise but also enhancing our ability to serve and protect our community on the water.

New home for marine emergency services in Cairns

Exciting times for QF9 Cairns flotilla and the future Marine Rescue Queensland (MRQ)! The Minister for Police and Community Safety Mark Ryan and MRQ Chief Officer Tony Wullf were in Cairns on Wednesday, 28 February, joined by QF9 to announce Queensland’s first Marine Operations Base.

This will be the new home for Water Police, the QF9 Cairns flotilla, and MRQ’s Far Northern regional base.

Minister Ryan and CO Wulff

“Australian Volunteer Coast Guard’s Cairns Flotilla is looking forward to sharing our new home base with the Queensland Water Police. The new shared facility will allow us to enhance our working relationship with Water Police and supports the establishment of Marine Rescue Queensland.”
“We are excited to receive a replacement secondary vessel and would like to thank the Queensland government for the opportunity to modernise our rescue vessel fleet, ensuring QF9’s ability to provide responsive marine rescue services to our community.” Terry Langford, National Commodore, Australian Volunteer Coast Guard

Minister Ryan also announced that QF9 will receive a new 7.5m rescue vessel in the coming months under the state government’s vessel replacement program.

With the expertise and dedication of marine rescue volunteers and Water Police under one roof, the future of marine services in the Far North is looking strong.

It’s official

We hit a major milestone with MRIP when we got the green light from Queensland Police Service ICT on our new digital home and how we’re going to work together online.

What does this mean for you? Your new digital hub on the web will be at (please note the site is not currently live). The site will provide you with a one-stop shop for all things related to MRQ, with all your resources in one spot.

The program team is currently working hard to build this space on the Internet and will let you know when we’re live.

MS-Teams is going to be the go-to for pretty much everything digital we do together. It’s where we’ll chat, hold meetings, share documents – you name it. It’s going to make staying in touch and working together a whole lot easier.

But wait, there’s even more. With the O365 apps part of the toolkit, you will have access pretty much anywhere, any time, and on any device. This will help support how you engage with our community and each other in the marine rescue world.

It’s a game changer for Marine Rescue Queensland, making us more responsive, efficient, and connected than ever before.

Become a Leader of Change

On Monday, February 5, 2024, VMR Bribie Island hosted the first Leaders of Change (LOC) session.

This landmark event brought together 55 representatives from Volunteer Marine Rescue and Australian Volunteer Coast Guard units across Queensland, fostering a spirit of collaboration and innovation both in-person and virtually.

The LOC is MRIP’s strategic approach to transition Marine Rescue Queensland into a more enhanced operational framework. It’s designed to drive critical functions such as improving communication, engagement, support, and empowerment for volunteers, while also managing change effectively across the diverse units of Marine Rescue Queensland. MRIP invites all volunteers passionate about innovation to join this transformative journey.

To express your interest and be part of shaping the future of Marine Rescue Queensland, please engage with your unit commanders and have them forward email us here.

Formal invitations will soon outline the enriching LOC sessions planned, offering a unique opportunity for volunteers to contribute actively to Marine Rescue Queensland’s evolution towards a more effective and resilient future.

Ground-breaking Marine Rescue Queensland legislation

In an era where the safety and protection of people in our marine environments are paramount, Queensland embarks on a transformative journey with the introduction of a ground-breaking legislation for Marine Rescue Queensland.

The Marine Rescue Queensland Bill is new chapter for marine rescue, enhancing the operational framework and fostering a wave of positive change for volunteers, stakeholders and the wider community. It will formally recognise marine rescue volunteers as essential to the disaster and emergency services workforce, aligning you with your counterparts to tackle marine emergencies more effectively.

“Through this landmark legislation, we are not just enhancing the capabilities of our volunteers; we are ensuring that the spirit of dedication and bravery that defines Marine Rescue Queensland is recognised, respected and protected at every level.” Tony Wulff - Marine Rescue Queensland Chief Officer

The legislation will introduce legal protections for volunteers, ensuring you can perform your duties with confidence, and empower you with specific powers to respond more decisively to emergencies. It also criminalises the impersonation of marine rescue volunteers, safeguarding the integrity of the service.

With the Governor’s endorsement of Bill passed by Parliament (due on Thursday, 6 June 2024), this legislation becomes a beacon of progress, ensuring Queensland’s waters remain safe for all.

Nominate a Volunteer

Let’s celebrate and recognise our amazing volunteers! Nominations are now open for the 2024 Queensland Volunteering Awards, proudly hosted by Volunteering Queensland.

Nominate today to shine a light on the incredible work done by our volunteers who dedicate their time, knowledge and experience in keeping Queenslanders safe on the water.

There are several categories to choose from, and finalists are invited to attend the Queensland Volunteering Awards in Brisbane during National Volunteer Week. What a fantastic event to be a part of! Nomination close on 31 March 2024. Visit their website for more details.

Share your qualifications

Share your training data

To ensure uninterrupted operations during the transition to Marine Rescue Queensland, we will recognise volunteers’ qualifications at face-value, and we’re asking for your permission to access your training records.

Your consent allows us to acknowledge your qualifications as current, enabling a seamless continuation of your vital work under Marine Rescue Queensland. To complete this process we are asking for your permission to access your training records.

We’re committed to upholding the highest standards of competency, and within the first 12 months of transitioning to Marine Rescue Queensland, we’ll assess all volunteers to ensure everyone is fully equipped for marine rescue work. To be part of this significant change, please consent to share your training data with MRIP by following the provided link or scanning the QR code.

With over 1150 volunteers already having granted their consent, we’re grateful for the trust you have placed in this process. Your involvement will ensure our readiness and collective strength as we navigate towards the future of marine rescue together.

Want to test the waters?

As we prepare for our exciting transformation with the introduction of the aXcelerate Learning Management System, we’re inviting our training coordinators (one per unit) to be part of previews and user testing ahead of its launch. Simply email our team here with the subject line ‘aXcelerate me’ and we will add you to the testing team.

Smooth sailing for our Operations and Fleet

Our operational enhancements

Marine Rescue Queensland is strengthening its operational framework with completed QBuild assessments across South-East Queensland and ongoing reports in Central and North Queensland. These efforts, coupled with nearing completion of Workplace Health and Safety evaluations, are pivotal for Marine Rescue Queensland’s transition planning, ensuring a robust and safe operational base.

Our Fleet modernisation efforts

Simultaneously, the Marine Rescue Queensland’s fleet is seeing significant upgrades, with new rescue vessels operational at Thursday Island, Tin Can Bay and Mackay, and more under construction for Redcliffe and other locations. This fleet enhancement is crucial for improving Marine Rescue Queensland’s marine rescue capabilities and readiness.

Our new 7.5m hard collared rescue vessel in the water at Tin Can Bay.

Have you applied for your Blue Card?

A big shout-out to the 1,200 marine rescue volunteers who’ve applied for their Blue Cards! Thank you for completing the forms.

Haven’t started your Blue Card application yet?

No worries, we’ve got your back! Embarking on this journey is straightforward and we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Begin your application now at the Blue Card Services Applicant Portal and join your fellow volunteers in making a difference.

Encountering any hurdles? We’re just an email away. Reach out for assistance at and let us help you navigate through the process.

Volunteers who have filled out the linking form but are yet to complete their Blue Card process, please revisit the portal to finalise your application.

MRIP on the road

February was a bustling month for Marine Rescue Queensland with a series of meetings, training sessions, and special events across the state, aimed at strengthening collaboration and enhancing skills within the marine rescue community.

The month started with the Minister for Police and Community Safety, Mark Ryan and MRIP attending the AVCGA State Council meeting in Brisbane, followed by the Leaders of Change initiative at VMR Bribie Island, setting a proactive agenda for discussions on the future of marine rescue services. Subsequent gatherings, like the VMR Southern Zone and QF5 Noosa Flotilla meetings, focused on sharing best practices and addressing unit-specific challenges.

Mid-month, the QRBC meeting and the VMRAQ State Council gathering were key in shaping future policies, while Phase 1 Unit engagements at locations including VMR Hervey Bay, QF17 Tin Can Bay, VMR Gladstone, VMR Mackay, QF9 Cairns and QF4 Caloundra will underscore Marine Rescue Queensland’s commitment to unit readiness and capability enhancement.

We were honoured to be invited to the official launch of Gladstone Rescue 1, VMR Gladstone’s impressive new marine rescue vessel. Thank you for having us.

The month wraps up with Offshore SMS training in Tin Can Bay and community engagement events in Cairns, emphasising Marine Rescue Queensland’s integral role in both the marine rescue community and broader public engagements.

As the MRIP looks forward to continuing our state-wide engagements in March, units are encouraged to share their community events to foster participation and spread awareness about Marine Rescue Queensland’s vital mission in marine safety.