Marine rescue volunteers in doubt as review lost at sea
Sunshine Coast marine rescue group volunteers say they face an uncertain future as they await the results of a government review into independent organisations.
Coast Guard Mooloolaba wants the State Government to make a decision on the group's future.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service began the Blue Water review into the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue in 2018.
A list of recommendations has been provided to the State Government but the groups are yet to see any action.
Coast Guard Mooloolaba deputy commander Rod Ashlin said the proposed changes could be their salvation after a tough time fundraising during the pandemic.
"While we will still operate independently, the government's idea is to merge volunteer marine rescue and Coast Guard into one body," he said.
"There wouldn't be too much difference in the way we operate, we would still be volunteer and no doubt we would probably still be doing some fundraising.
"But they have agreed that we can't continue to buy, in our case $1.5 million boats, and sell $2 raffle tickets to pay for it, you just can't do it.
"They've agreed to a much better funding arrangement.
"That's where we think the salvation for marine rescue in Queensland and the future lies."
But Mr Ashlin is concerned about the time the review is taking.
An update for rescue organisations was last posted on the Blue Water review website in July last year.
"We are asking questions at the moment," he said.
"There's an implementation program going on and we know that positive moves are being made, but you know, government does not move too quickly.
"We've been asking questions and we've been putting pressure on a few people to say, 'look, tell us what's going on now'."
Mr Ashlin said he would continue to ask questions.
"No one's prepared to tell us how long it will take but I believe legislation is being worked on."
The Daily has contacted the Blue Water review project team for an update on its progress.