Linda Jones of Marine Rescue NSW explaining yesterday how the proposed boating levy would work.
Linda Jones of Marine Rescue NSW explaining yesterday how the proposed boating levy would work. Trevor Veale

Marine Rescue wants more support

BOAT owners are being asked whether they would pay an extra $7.50 on top of their annual boating registration and licence fees to help support Marine Rescue NSW.

The proposed levy is currently on public display until June.

If it’s supported by boat owners, the levy would be introduced by the State Government in July raising an extra $5 million to help keep boaties safe on the water.

Marine Rescue regional co-ordinator Linda Jones said the funding proposal would greatly assist the voluntary service, which up until now has relied mostly on community fundraising.

“It costs $40,000 each year to keep the marine rescue unit here at Coffs Harbour operational,” Mrs Jones said.

“This collection, if supported by boat owners, would help with the running costs of the entire NSW Marine Rescue Service.”

“This extra funding would be of particular importance to smaller units like South West Rocks, Wooli and Woolgoolga covering the costs of running and replacing rescue boats,” she said.

It has been estimated if boating continues to grow at its current rates, boats on the water will double to around 900,000 in the next 25 years.

Once collected the levy would be fully accounted by the government.

The additional $5 million would then be added to the current $1.4 million in funding to the marine service.

This would help support search-and- rescue vessels and upgrades to the NSW’s only coast-to-coast marine radio network.

Better rescue, educational and training services for boat owners are guaranteed under the funding proposal.

Submissions for and against the proposed levy and discussion paper can be made on the NSW Maritime website, www.maritime.nsw.gov.au up until Friday, June 18.



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