A wide-ranging review into Queensland’s volunteer marine rescue services will start on Monday (September 24) and will involve regional stakeholder visits to help Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) better understand what is happening at a local, tactical level.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford says the review by Retired Royal Australian Navy Commodore Campbell Darby DSC AM would include a comprehensive assessment of existing marine rescue arrangements in Queensland and around Australia.
“The first stage of Campbell Darby’s review will identify key policies impacting service delivery and volunteer based maritime search and rescue capability.”
In July, Mr Crawford and QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll announced the review into services provided by the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA) and Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Queensland (VMRAQ).
Ms Carroll said the volunteers who made up the state’s marine rescue groups do a fantastic job.
“Queensland has one of the longest coastlines in Australia and the intention of this review is to ensure our volunteers are well supported and have the most comprehensive emergency services capability on the water.”
“This review will mean we can make sure our valuable volunteers have the greatest capacity to respond to emergency events and protect those on the water when they need it most.”
There are 21 Coastguard, and 26 VMR locations across Queensland and QFES supports the marine rescue organisations through service level agreements, which are due to expire on June 30, 2019.
Under these agreements, QFES annually provides AVCGA with $1.5 million and VMRAQ with $1.7 million.
The initial stages of the review will be completed prior to negotiations for the new service agreements (June) next year.
Interested parties can pass information and submissions to: QFESVMROR@qfes.qld.gov.au