Bob Wiese

Bob Wiese


    More than $300,000 given to volunteer rescue groups this yr

    26/10/1996 12:00 AM



    Emergency Services Minister Bob Wiese said State Government funding for Western Australia's volunteer sea, search and rescue groups totalled more than $300,000 this year.


    Mr Wiese said the Government's financial support was essential for the 33 groups stationed along the State's coast to maintain their high standard of surveillance and offshore assistance.


    "This Government recognises the vital role these volunteer groups play in providing a rescue service to boat owners throughout the State - in some cases for 24 hours a day, seven days a week," he said.


    "Members of these groups devote countless hours and personal finances in their efforts to assist the boating public and it is important that their endeavours are supported by Government."


    Mr Wiese said this year, the base grant to the groups had been increased from $3,750 to $5,000.


    In addition to base grants, the Government also provided activity grants which were assessed through the amount of rescue work, personnel training and public education programs being conducted by each group.


    "It is vital to ensure that lives are not compromised through a lack of resources and training for the volunteer groups," Mr Wiese said.


    "These sea, search and rescue groups must be able to perform their duties to the best of their abilities and this is recognised by Government through the provision of annual funding grants.


    "In addition, a contingency fund of $5,000 is provided to assist groups with fuel costs for extended searches."


    The Minister said funds had also been provided for insurance coverage of up to $400,000 for any one vessel.


    He said the rescue groups would be receiving their grants by post this week.


    With the summer months fast approaching, it was important for boat owners to prepare their craft by checking and updating safety equipment if necessary.


    "Boat owners must be aware that the personal safety of themselves and their passengers could be put at risk by not taking proper precautions," Mr Wiese said.


    "It is essential for boat owners to monitor weather conditions, to have proper radio equipment and be aware of how to contact the local volunteer sea rescue group through the appropriate emergency radio channels."


    Media contact: Mark Thompson on 222 9595