Marine rescue queensland starts in July - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

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The Queensland government is proceeding with plans to amalgamate all Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) units into one new organisation called Marine Rescue Queensland (MRQ).

MRQ will be an independent volunteer organisation under the authority of the Queensland Water Police.

It will continue to deliver all marine rescue and safety services currently provided by VMR and the Coast Guard.

The government says the purpose of merging these two organisations into one body is to simplify community safety. The government intends to pay for all operational and administration costs involved with MRQ, including new uniforms and new boats, and to ensure all MRQ volunteers receive the same marine rescue training and protections, well-being and support services as do members of Queensland’s Police Service.

The government has been working for several years on MRQ. It intends to put the proposed legislation before parliament on 7 May, have it proclaimed on 3 June, and officially launch MRQ on 1 July 2024.

New uniforms, badges and branding for MRQ have already been designed. Last month, a new Chief Officer for MRQ was appointed by the Minister for Police and Community Safety, Mark Ryan. He is Tony Wulff, a Melbourne businessman. He has no Marine Rescue qualifications nor experience working with Marine Rescue volunteers, but he is very experienced in transformation and change. People working with him say he’s very focused on bringing all Marine Rescue volunteers into MRQ as efficiently as possible.

The government intends to roll out MRQ in stages to ensure it is ‘bedded in’ and working properly across the state. The first stage of the roll-out begins in Far North Queensland in July. The VMR and Coast Guard units in Moreton Bay and Redlands are expected to start their transition into MRQ in December 2024.

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