A sad State of affairs as rescue groups get petty cash
As we sifted through yet another excruciatingly boring NSW Budget last week, there was momentary excitement when the figure of $24 million was touted as the forthcoming spend for maritime safety and infrastructure.
The devil, though, is in the detail – more than half of that, $13.4 million, will go to upgrading commuter wharves on Sydney Harbour.
By comparison, chump change of $2.5 million will be used to fund new NSW Maritime patrol boats, while Marine Rescue NSW is getting a paltry $1.47 million.
I'm not being NSW-centric here. All states seem to undervalue the lifesaving labours of the volunteer rescue groups.
Everyone who goes to sea owes these folk their gratitude. Logging on and off, for example, is a simple service we take for granted but imagine if your call was met by radio silence.
Southport VMR give a broken-down yacht a tow up the Broadwater Creating Demand
How often have you seen a broken-down boat being towed back to shore by a beaten up Sharkcat?
On board will be a bunch of guys donating their leisure or retirement time, in between running lamington drives, to keep the show afloat. Who knows how much money they save the state?
Volunteer groups run their boats on the smell of an oily rag Creating Demand
Certainly, they must dream of the resources extended to the US Coast Guard, operated by Homeland Security. How does a budget of $10.34 billion sound for the 2011-12 fiscal year?
The Coast Guard motto is 'Semper Paratus' ... Latin for 'Always Prepared'. By the grace of God, I hope our rescue services can say the same as another busy boating season looms.
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