The following Question without Notice was asked by the Member for Kimberley Josie Farrer and answered today in Parliament by Emergency Services Minister Hon Fran Logan.
Ms J. FARRER to the Minister for Emergency Services:
I refer to the McGowan Labor government’s record support of the volunteer marine rescue services.
(1) Can the minister update the house on the funding this government is providing for volunteer marine rescue groups?
(2) Can the minister outline to the house what this will mean for our local communities?
Mr F. LOGAN replied:
(1)–(2) On a more pleasant note, I am very pleased to rise to inform the house about the way the first tranche of funding of the $19.5 million that I have made available to the volunteer marine rescue services will be applied.
The first tranche this year will be $4.5 million, $6 million next year into 2020, and $6 million in 2021–22.
Everyone is aware of the work of the volunteer marine rescue in Western Australia. We have 38 volunteer marine rescue groups around the coast of Western Australia that do a remarkable job.
They constantly put their lives at risk. Remember, they go out into the stormy and violent oceans at a time when everyone else is coming in, particularly when they need to rescue people or boats. Particularly in your seat of Albany, Mr Speaker, the number of times they have gone out to undertake rescue of people who have gone off The Gap or who have been fishing off rocks is horrendous. Of course, these volunteers in many cases have to go and pick up deceased people from the ocean, put them on the boat, take them back, hand them over to the police and then go back to work. It is remarkable. What we ask our volunteers to do across Western Australia, particularly the volunteer marine rescue workers, is absolutely remarkable, so any assistance they can get from the government is certainly very, very important in helping them do their job properly.
I will inform the house of how the funding breakdown for 2019–20 will apply and the volunteer marine rescue groups that will receive funding. I will not go through them all because there are too many for this question.
But given that the member for Kimberley asked the question, I can inform the member for Kimberley that East Kimberley Volunteer Sea Rescue Group will get a new building fit-out for $87 000; I have been to its facilities, and it certainly needs it. Mr Premier will be very pleased to know that Rockingham will get a new vessel. There is strong argument that Rockingham does not get anything in terms of its parliamentary seat from this government, but of course it does! We have a very strong member there who fights for his seat and fights for the people of Rockingham!
I inform the house that the Premier will have a new vessel down there at Rockingham, at a cost of $548 000. There we go. I hope you would go down there! The member for Bunbury will get a new vessel at $238 000. Whitfords, member for Joondalup, will get a new vessel for $266 000.
Mr F. LOGAN: Unfortunately West Swan will not. I know all members are excited—just listen! Busselton, too, will be getting a new vessel at over $400 000, and Bremer Bay will get a partial
refit of its vessel down there. The member for Warren–Blackwood will be pleased that his electorate has not been forgotten with a new tow vehicle at Windy Harbour and the design of a new building down at Augusta. So there is an opportunity for the member for Warren-Blackwood to run around and do his best media releases.
So those are the announcements. That is not all of them, but they will be published very shortly. We can compare this with the previous government that did not fund these associations – under Labor — The McGowan Labor government has managed to ensure that the emergency services levy is extended to volunteer marine rescue, which the former government did not. That is why I am standing here announcing these good investments in our volunteer marine rescue.