John Kobelke

John Kobelke

Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Community Safety; Water Resources; Sport and Recreation

    New marine headquarters a real lifesaver

    16/02/2008 9:31 AM

    People who enjoy the waters off the State’s South-West are set to benefit from a new $940,000 state-of-the-art marine rescue facility officially opened in Busselton today.

    Police and Emergency Services Minister John Kobelke said the new facility would be the centre of operations for the Busselton Volunteer Marine Rescue Group.

    “Marine House, situated in Geographe Bay, will not only meet current needs, but serve the community as the region continues to grow,” Mr Kobelke said.

    “Over the past three years, the number of sea rescues in the region has basically doubled and in the past month alone, the group attended 41 incidents.

    “Every single one of those call-outs means a life was saved, so it is vital that the best possible equipment and facilities are available to the volunteers.”

    The Minister praised the tireless commitment of the Marine Rescue Volunteers who selflessly made themselves available 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week, to assist and protect others in times of emergency.

    The new facility has been fitted out with the latest in radio communications, an electronic weather station and radar with a 64 nautical mile range, capable of monitoring the waters from Margaret River to Preston Beach.

    Mr Kobelke said the new centre had already started to benefit the community.

    “The group recently responded to a distress call from a family of four whose boat had engine failure and who were drifting dangerously close to rocks just off Dunsborough,” he said.

    “The group advised the family to drop the anchor while they immediately headed out there, using the new radar to locate the family’s exact position before towing them safely back to shore.”

    South-West MLC Adele Farina welcomed the new facility, which is expected to attract more volunteers to serve the growing population of Busselton.

    “Plans are to have volunteers staff the headquarters daily and take over the 24-hour marine radio monitoring, resulting in faster emergency response times,” Ms Farina said.

    “The new facility would not have been possible without the support of Fire and Emergency Service Authority, Lotterywest, the Shire of Busselton and the Busselton Volunteer Marine Rescue Group.”

    Minister's office - 9222 9211