Funding to repair radio repeater and extend pontoon

Thursday, 21 March 2019

A vital piece of safety equipment used by marine rescue groups and local boaties will be replaced thanks to funding from the Coalition Government.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has been fighting to secure funding to replace the marine radio repeater at Sandy Cape on Fraser Island.

“A storm in December last year knocked out the repeater which is a huge safety issue as it limited maritime communications from Bundaberg waters through to the Great Sandy Straights, as well as the coastal waters of Fraser Island,” Mr Pitt said.

“I’m pleased to announce today that $30,000 has been committed to replace this important piece of equipment.”

Mr Pitt has also successfully lobbied for $160,000 in funding to improve the pontoon and berth for a new larger vessel for Marine Rescue Hervey Bay.

“Marine Rescue Hervey Bay does a fantastic job, but they need suitable facilities and equipment to be able to assist recreational and commercial fishers, tourist operators and maritime vessels.”

Marine Rescue Hervey Bay Commodore John Smith welcomed today’s announcement and thanked Mr Pitt for his continued support.

“The repeater is jointly owned and maintained by Marine Rescue Hervey Bay and Marine Rescue Bundaberg, but it is beyond repair,” Mr Smith said.

“With sporadic mobile phone coverage in the marine area, the repeater provides a working channel for boaties and both marine rescue organisations and it needs to be replaced.

“Marine Rescue regularly works with the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Ambulance Service and with this channel being out of commission could have serious implications.”

Mr Smith said the new vessel was due to come into service at the end of the year and an upgrade is needed to accommodate it.

“We’ve been fundraising for a new vessel for a number of years and it’s great to see it’s come to fruition and this funding will ensure the necessary upgrades are completed.”

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