Grant win for Marine Rescue Woolgoolga buys new tractor

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh at Marine Rescue Woolgoolga with Unit Commander Mitch Harvey, joined by Marine Rescue NSW Regional Operations Manager Randall Gawne.

 

A SENSE of relief is how Mitch Harvey, Unit Commander at Marine Rescue NSW Woolgoolga, described his feeling when Gurmesh Singh, Member for Coffs Harbour, rang him with the news that his unit would be getting a new launching tractor.

“I kind of jumped for joy,” Mitch told News Of The Area.

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Mitch had submitted an application for the State Government’s Infrastructure Grant in the Club Grants Category.

“We really needed this tractor,” he said.

“I think our unique situation worked in our favour.

“Based at Arrawarra Headland, we launch our six-and-a-half tonne rescue vessel from the beach, backwards into the ocean, which is like no other Marine Rescue units have to do.

“We’ve always had second-hand vehicles that ‘just’ do the job and need replacing every few years and thought that was all we could do.

“Then this grant came up so we applied for a good, powerful tractor that could launch the boat efficiently, effectively and safely.

“We’re really excited with the capability of this one.

“When we’re reversing into the ocean we go in pretty deep.

“This tractor is a lot higher than the former one, the advantage being we can pretty much keep the engine and auxiliary out of the water…the tractor will get wet, but it has the highest ground clearance we could find.

“The $81k is a lot of money but it’s for us to provide a safety service to our community.

“Woolgoolga is a tight-knit community, locally based.

“This kind of win breathes some welcome fresh air into a small unit like ours.”

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said the funding was made available under the NSW Government’s Infrastructure Grants Clubgrants Category 3 Fund.

“The purchase of a rescue vessel launching tractor is allowing Marine Rescue NSW Woolgoolga volunteers to provide a safety net to thousands of water-users on the Coffs Coast,” said Mr Singh.

“The new tractor is also helping the volunteers provide a reliable 24/7 emergency service to our recreational and commercial maritime communities.”

 

By” Andrea FERRARI

 

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