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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable Craig Crawford

    Retired Royal Australian Navy Commodore to head review into marine rescue organisations

    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable Craig Crawford

    Tuesday, July 31, 2018

    Retired Royal Australian Navy Commodore to head review into marine rescue organisations

    Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll today (Tuesday) announced Campbell Darby DSC AM will lead the review into the State’s volunteer marine rescue organisations.

    Mr Crawford said Mr Darby "brought with him a wealth of knowledge” in relation to maritime safety, as well as significant experience in emergency management operational activities.

    “Commissioner Carroll and I are extremely pleased that Mr Darby will oversee the review of volunteer marine rescue operations in Queensland waters,” Mr Crawford said.

    “The aim of the review is to ensure Queenslanders continue receiving the best service possible.”

    Campbell Darby has had a distinguished career in the Royal Australian Navy, where he commanded the HMAS Ipswich, HMAS Sydney and HMAS Brisbane. From late 2003 until mid-2004, he commanded Australian Forces in the Middle East area of operations. Mr Darby was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2001 and in 2005 received the award of a Distinguished Service Cross for service in Iraq.

    He joined the Federal Attorney-General’s Department in 2010 and resigned from Director General Emergency Management Australia (DGEMA) in 2012.  

    Commissioner Carroll said Mr Darby would begin work on the review, announced last Thursday, in the coming weeks.

    “Our thousands of volunteers who make up our marine rescue groups in Queensland, do an amazing job in ensuring our boaties and those participating in various marine activities are kept safe and receive a helping hand if they do get into trouble,” Ms Carroll said.

    “Queensland has the longest coast line within Australia that is actually serviced by our volunteer marine rescue groups, as they provide their blue water safety net up and down the coast, from Mornington Island right down to Coolangatta.

    “As you can appreciate this is a vast area to cover and if we can identify through this review enhanced efficiencies and effectiveness on how our Marine Rescue Groups in Queensland operate – we will be able to not only ensure our volunteers are better supported but the people of Queensland have a modernised and improved emergency services capability on the water.”

    QFES supports marine rescue organisations Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA) and Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Queensland (VMRAQ) through service level agreements, which are due to expire on June 30, 2019.

    Under these agreements, QFES annually provides AVCGA with $1.5 million, and VMRAQ with $1.7 million. There are 21 Coastguard, and 26 VMR locations across Queensland.

    The review of marine rescue services will be completed prior to negotiations for new service agreements (June next year).

    Mr Crawford said he asked for the review after “visiting marine rescue bases up and down the coast where volunteers raised some very complex issues affecting service delivery in these locations”.

    “I want to reiterate how much this Government values the services provided by marine rescue volunteers,” he said.


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