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Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Page: 759

Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (13:55): I rise to honour the work of Marine Rescue Central Coast in upholding the safety of people out and about on the water in my electorate of Robertson. Being out on the water is a regular and popular pastime for many of us on the coast, so the work of organisations like the marine rescue association is vital. There are over 100 volunteers working from the Point Clare and Terrigal bases. They provide radio monitoring 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Last year, these tireless volunteers together spent 71,000 hours on duty. There is hardly any rest. Last year alone, more than 130 vessels got into trouble. Working in teams, marine rescue crews were presented with difficult, risky and sometimes dangerous situations to assist nearly 400 people in strife on our waterways. Alongside our hard-working water police, these volunteers are heroes on the water.

So, it seems entirely appropriate to recognise Unit Commander Marine Rescue Central Coast, Pat Fayers. Earlier this month in my electorate office, Pat was honoured with a National Medal. The National Medal is awarded by the Governor-General to recognise long-serving and dedicated volunteers in Australian communities. It highlights people who put their own safety at risk to protect others. For more than 15 years of faithful service, Pat completely deserves to receive this distinguished civilian medal. As a coalition government, we believe in the importance of voluntary organisations and voluntary effort. So, thank you to the hard-working team at Marine Rescue Central Coast. We are all safer on the water because of your tireless and selfless work.