July 2021

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Hi everyone,

We continue to well exceed last year’s record rate of activations, up almost 100% and with persons assisted well over the 100% mark. That is what we are here for though…volunteers providing the marine safety net for the Whitsundays.

Click HERE for the June activations.

Proserpine Community Markets

We were delighted to be selected as the charitable beneficiary of a donation from the Proserpine Community Markets on the 27th, and took Whale Song VMR2 along on its trailer for all to see. Thanks to those crew that assisted on the day, with a sausage sizzle (we are pretty good at that!), as well as looking after the information desk and Whale Song.

All about our VHF and AIS installations

VMR Whitsunday operates two VHF and AIS installations at Hayman and Whitsunday Islands that were totally upgraded after Cyclone Debbie with generous financial assistance from members of the Whitsunday community and Disaster grants. Both are equipped with solar and wind power.

Mt Robison on Whitsunday Island has VHF channel 81 and an AIS receiving station. The whole installation is precariously perched on Mt Robison – a huge rock outcrop at 1300 ft (400 metres) altitude and cannot be accessed on foot. We need to take helicopters to reach them – and that is expensive.

The site used to be utilised for a Telstra tower which has not been used by them since  2011 but has remained on site, and it was bent by TC Debbie and has continued to rust since then. Telstra now plans to remove the tower, creating a financial headache for VMR, as the budget is over $10,000 to temporarily relocate our own installation and reinstate it with a new tower when Telstra has finished. However, we reached out to a National Australia Bank grant program and they have approved and paid $10,000 toward the project, which will be undertaken in August. THANK YOU, NAB, FOR SUPPORTING THE VMR WHITSUNDAY MARINE SAFETY NET.

VMRW is working with Telstra with a view to them providing mobile phone coverage to the eastern parts of the islands, but this will be subject to funding being approved under the Federal Black Spot Coverage Area funding grant, and is likely to be a couple of years away. Whitehaven Beach has recently been voted the top beach in the world on Trip advisor again, and the Whitehaven and Hill Inlet area is the third most photographed site in Australia, so we hope the grant can be secured in due course.

VMRW signs Collaboration Agreement

This month we will be signing a Collaboration Agreement with QFES with the aim of developing a closer working relationship that will strongly benefit both parties, and significantly assist us to achieve our respective objectives in protecting the community.

Membership is cheap insurance…tell your friends!

VMR Whitsunday membership is cheap insurance at just $80 – membership renewals and new memberships can be done online. Your membership helps to keep us going in case you need us.

Kind regards,
Mal Priday
President,
Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday