Douglas marine rescue volunteers back on the water


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Local marine rescue volunteers have been locked out of the Port Douglas coast guard base since July. IMAGE: Newsport.
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Locals demand end to coast guard lock out
Coast guard stalemate continues

THE Douglas region's coast guard dispute is one step closer to being resolved.

Local marine rescue volunteers have again been granted access to the Dicksons Inlet base after being locked out since July by the Australia Volunteer Coast Guard Association. The standoff began when they announced intentions to join the Volunteer Marine Rescue Queensland (VMR) association.

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu and councillors Roy Zammataro and Abigail Noli met with SES Assistant Commissioner Peter Jeffrey to discuss an interim solution this week, while the Katter’s Australian Party's Bob Katter and Gordon Rasmussen also spoke to members of the local Queensland Flotilla 10 (Mossman Port Douglas Coast Guard).

The QF10 have received the strong backing of both the local council and Katter to pursue their push to join the new association.

“We met with the QF10 this week and we are completely behind them,” KAP candidate Rasmussan told Newsport.

“This is a matter of public safety and we were concerned the community was being held to ransom over this dispute. It’s not over entirely, but the boat is back in the water at least.”

The Port Douglas region had been relying on marine rescue services from Cairns (QF9) during the lockout.

Jeffrey will now oversee the transition process for the local group to the VMR.

"We'll be watching it closely," Rasmussan said.

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