THE Marine Rescue Port Macquarie revamped radio base and associated upgrades have enhanced safety of the boating community.
Volunteers started using the upgraded radio base at Town Beach in early November.
The building, including the radio base and a kiosk, had a makeover thanks to a Port Macquarie-Hastings Council project.
Marine Rescue Port Macquarie was responsible for the interior radio base fit-out. The group met the fit-out and associated equipment upgrade costs.
The project included cabling and electrical works, plastering, floor coverings, communications and electronics. Some of the electronic work, including a bar camera, is still to be finished.
A weather station is linked to the volunteer group’s website and the bar camera will be too.
Marine Rescue Port Macquarie unit commander Neil Yates said the weather station and the bar camera would really enhance boat safety.
The upgrade, including the radios, enhancement of safety systems and interior fit-out, cost about $310,000.
Mr Yates said the costs had been helped tremendously by the tradespeople and suppliers.
“Without them, we would have been up for another $50,000 or $60,000 minimum,” he said.
Marine Rescue Port Macquarie volunteer John Pickett was the fit-out project manager.
Mr Pickett said he could not thank the suppliers and tradespeople enough.
“They have gone out of their way to help us in one way or another,” he said.
Many volunteers also stepped up to help including Bob Green.
A $40,000 state government grant and $12,500 from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council helped with the costs.
Marine Rescue Port Macquarie raised the remainder through fundraising and sponsorship.
Mr Pickett said the upgraded radio base was comfortable and effective.
The new equipment and relocation of the radios and antennas to a higher elevation delivered a better communications range.
Mr Yates said the upgraded facility was a better environment for the radio operators and a more functional space.
There is also a comprehensive security system.
“We’ve ended up, thanks to negotiations with council, with a base and training room facility that is far better than what we had,” Mr Yates said.