Australian Volunteer Coast Guard volunteers in Werribee will be given a well-deserved boost thanks to a $11.3 million announcement from the Andrews Labor Government.

New vessels, equipment and protective clothing, as well as fuel and other operating costs will be funded over the 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial years.

This announcement is a crucial investment in the sector, which would significantly reduce the fundraising burden on volunteers.

A range of improvements are included as part of the funding:

  • A capital program to replace search-and-rescue vessels and other key assets
  • Operational subsidies for MSAR units, to cover training, fuel, insurance, protective clothing and equipment
  • The continuation of a small centralised team to drive reform and build volunteer capability, which will sit within Emergency Management Victoria.

The Labor Government outlined a suite of reforms to marine-rescue services in 2016, in response to a Parliamentary Inquiry into the sector.

There are almost 800 MSAR volunteers in Victoria, who donate their time to respond to marine emergencies and raise community awareness about marine safety.  These volunteers respond to about 1300 marine incidents every year.

Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas

“This is a record investment in our Marine Search and Rescue volunteers at Werribee Coast Guard.”

“This boost will provide our hard working and dedicated volunteers with the support they need to keep Victorians safe on the water.”