Marine Rescue Newcastle’s plans for a permanent new base on the edge of the Hunter River in Stockton are a step closer to reality after the state government announced it will provide $2 million towards the site’s construction.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Catherine Cusack, said the funding for Marine Rescue NSW fell under the government’s COVID-19 stimulus program.
“This $2 million funding is fantastic news for Marine Rescue Newcastle and the future of maritime safety in the Newcastle region – $600,000 will be provided this financial year and $1.4 million next financial year,” she said.
“The funding will allow the local branch of Marine Rescue NSW to build a quality new permanent home on Crown land close to the water near South Stockton boat ramp.”
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner, Stacey Tannos, said he was thrilled by the stimulus funding.
“The NSW Government’s support will ensure our volunteers will have a modern, purpose-built base with state-of-the-art facilities for managing their emergency operations on the busy Hunter River, Newcastle Harbour, and offshore waters,” he said.
“The new base will be fitted out with the latest generation marine radio equipment along with dedicated training facilities, offices, volunteer amenities, a crew ready room and berthing facilities for our new $535,000 rescue vessel right at the door.
“This will enable the unit’s crews to respond even more rapidly to save lives on the water both inside and outside Newcastle Harbour.”
Marine Rescue Newcastle was previously forced to relocate to Warabrook after the April 2015 super storm caused extensive damage to the roof and interiors of its home at Shepherds Hill Cottage.
In August, City of Newcastle voted to offer the Crown land it manages at South Stockton on a peppercorn lease.