LAKE Macquarie’s volunteer Marine Rescue is in need of help itself, with the push on to secure $950,000 it requires to build a new radio base at Swansea Heads.
Labor’s emergency services spokesman Guy Zangari joined Swansea MP Yasmin Catley at the existing radio base on Friday to hear of plans for its replacement.
The organisation has about 120 local members and receives limited government funding, mostly raised from boat licence levies.
Its Swansea base monitors the coastal waters 24 hours, responding to calls for help and advice.
Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie deputy unit commander Roger Evans said it had development approval to replace the tiny 4 square-metres base.
The plans provide for new training and search and rescue operations rooms, as well as disabled access.
‘‘We have members who require disability access who want to be radio operators – we have inquiries all the time, we just can’t get them up there,’’ he said.
‘‘We need to reconstruct the building and the architect said knock the old one down.’’
It has development approval and hopes to put the project to tender in two months.
Mr Zangari said a new base would improve safety outcomes for the boating community. Ms Catley said the project would be ‘‘value for money for our community’’.
Emergency Services minister David Elliott said the government was providing $7.5million to Marine Rescue NSW this financial year for their ‘‘excellent work’’.
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