Shadow Minister for Emergency Services has criticised the State Government’s funding commitment for a new Marine Rescue Port Hedland base as insufficient.
Mr Aldridge said the $714,000 commitment confirmed in Parliament recently was “woefully inadequate” to meet the construction needs of a new, fit-for-purpose marine rescue facility in Port Hedland.
“When you compare the recent construction costs of the new $3.9 million fire station in Northampton and the $1.3 million fire station in Broome, it shows the Government’s commitment to Marine Rescue Port Hedland is sorely lacking,” Mr Aldridge said.
“The Minister holds an office in Port Hedland and should be well aware of the high cost of construction, freight, and accommodation in the State’s north, as well as further increased costs brought on by skill and supply shortages.”
Recent media reports have highlighted the poor condition of the over 100-year-old building, which Marine Rescue Port Hedland volunteers have labelled as “dilapidated” and “in extremely poor condition.”
Mr Aldridge said the business case put together by Marine Rescue Port Hedland for a $2.7 million facility was a fair request and called on the Minister to increase the funding commitment in the upcoming State Budget.
“The Minister told Parliament that Department of Fire and Rescue Services (DFES) supported an application to the Commonwealth for this project, so he clearly believes a new marine rescue base has merit,” Mr Aldridge said.
“Given the back-to-back budget surpluses this State Government boasts, the Minister needs to deliver funding certainty towards Marine Rescue Port Hedland by announcing a realistic commitment to deliver a new marine rescue base for Port Hedland.
“When you consider the immense value generated for our State through the port of Port Hedland, it is imperative our marine rescue volunteers are supported to provide a rapid and localised response to on water incidents, keeping our community safe and industry running,” he said.