Funding Boost For Marine Search And Rescue Volunteers

Marine Search and Rescue volunteers in Melbourne’s south are receiving new vessels and engines, as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s record $11.3 million investment in the sector.

Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino visited the Frankston Volunteer Coast Guard today to announce a range of funding commitments for Frankston and Carrum volunteers.

Mr Merlino – who was joined at the announcement by Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke and Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny – announced the upgrades which included:

  • a new vessel and engine upgrades for Frankston Volunteer Coast Guard
  • engine upgrades for the Carrum Volunteer Guard

Both coast guards are also receiving grants to support their critical operations, with funding provided for 2017-18 and 2018-19. This is the first time a dedicated grants program has existed for these kinds of organisations.

Mr Merlino said MSAR volunteers based in Melbourne’s south were among the busiest in the state, with Port Phillip Bay and Westernport Bay accounting for about two-thirds of Victoria’s marine incidents.

The Labor Government is investing $11.3 million in the sector over two years, as part of a wider program of reforms to improve governance and deliver better coordination between MSAR units.

The state-wide funding program includes more than $6.5 million to provide new search-and-rescue vessels, and about $4.75 million in operational funding to cover essential costs such as training, fuel, protective clothing, maintenance, equipment and insurance.

The operational funding also includes about $650,000 to replace engines.

Quote attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino

“Our dedicated Marine Search and Rescue volunteers in Melbourne’s southern suburbs are some of the busiest in the state, responding to incidents in often-challenging conditions.”

Quote attributable to Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke

“I have been talking to the Frankston Volunteer Coast Guard about their needs and today’s announcement is well deserved and increases our coast guard’s ability to do their life saving work effectively.”

Quote attributable to Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny

“These volunteers deserve support and for too long they were not given it, that is why we have stepped in to upgrade their equipment and give them the assistance they deserve.”