Marine rescue in Douglas secure during transition period

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Local marine rescue volunteers were locked out of the Port Douglas coast guard base in 2017. IMAGE: Newsport.
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Douglas Shire Council will offer another trustee permit to the Public Safety Business Agency to ensure a marine rescue service continues to operate out of Port Douglas.
  

Council resolved to offer the permit for the provision of coast guard services to the PSBA on behalf of the Queensland Fire and Emergency (QFES) at yesterday’s Ordinary Council Meeting.

The interim permit will be in place for the next 12 months, or until the transition of Marine Rescue Douglas Shire Inc. (MRDS) to the Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Queensland (VMRAQ), is complete. 

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the new trustee permit would give the community re-assurance when heading out on the water.

“An active and functioning marine rescue service is absolutely crucial for safety in our waters,” she said.
  
“This decision protects our local volunteer rescue and boating community out at sea until the State Government provides further direction.”

The State Government is currently completing a review into volunteer marine rescue organisations called “The Bluewater Review”, which hopes to develop a future vision for volunteer search and rescue in Queensland. 

Council officers have been waiting on direction from the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Craig Crawford, regarding who should provide marine rescue services from the subject premises.

The new trustee permit offered by Council will expire no later than April 30, 2020.

The QFES became involved by way of a service agreement, allowing marine rescue services in the Douglas Shire to be co-ordinated through the Wharf St office, after Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA) locked Flotilla QF10 (now MRDS) out of the premises.

The Port Douglas office covers an area from Ellis Beach to the Hope Islands, as well as storage of flares and associated flammable materials.


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