Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell has thrown her support behind plans for a purpose build base for Portland’s hardworking volunteer coast guard crew.
In Parliament this week, Ms Britnell said Portland Coast Guard operates from three different locations and at its dockside location there are no changing rooms, no showers, no toilets and no shelter from the prevailing wind.
“Female volunteers are getting changed in the car park and when volunteers return from a call-out at sea there is nowhere for volunteers to have a shower and warm up,” she said.
“The group holds meetings at the town’s CFA station and their radio room is based on the other side of town at Keppel Prince.
“They need a permanent base that is fit for purpose, to bring everything together in one place so they can efficiently provide their vital service to the community.”
Ms Britnell said the Coast Guard responds to a large number of call-outs each year and plays a vital in assisting water police in search and rescue operations on the far southwest coast.
“With Portland being the blue-fin tuna capital of Victoria and the huge number of boats that launch from the ramp there each year, the role of the local Coast Guard is even more important, ensuring there is assistance available should someone need it,” she said.
“A feasibility study has been done, a long-term lease for the land secured and plans drawn up.
“All that’s needed is funding from the State Government. I am calling on the Emergency Services Minister to meet with the local group, discuss their needs and then join me in supporting their much needed, purpose built, home base.”