Thursday, November 2, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The highly anticipated upgrades to the Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) Whitsundays have started, with scaffolding erected around the property.
“We’ve been working on this for four years, and it’s all coming to fruition,” VMW Whitsundays President, Mal Priday said.
“We are expanding the operation, giving us room to train, hold meetings, and grow as a community asset.
“We are tripling in size, and upgrading our radios, giving us better access and communication for emergencies.
“This is also expanding a great community asset, as the building is also a very popular venue for community organisations.”
The entire project includes replacing the old roof, a sizeable extension to the floorplan, and brand-new facilities.
“This is a great asset to us and an even better asset to the wider Whitsunday community.”
This expansion will see a purpose-built room constructed for Search and Rescue operations and training, volunteer training, and a general-purpose meeting space for volunteers.
Between now and the expected completion of the works by mid-March 2024, the VMR organisation will still be fully functional, holding practical boat training and their monthly meetings at the Airlie Beach Bowls Club.
“We will still be fully functional, 24 hours a day, for 365 days a year,” Mal said.
With the work expected to conclude early next year, Mal expects that the VMR won’t be holding their grand re-opening until June 2024, in line with VMR Whitsunday’s 60th year anniversary celebrations and the new partnership with the Queensland Coast Guard, which aligns better funding and better support.
The works are being undertaken by Ben Doolin Builders, with other contractors being outsourced to take part in the project.
“Davies Cranes even donated their work for free for us, which is amazing,” said Mal.
Renovations are underway for the VMR Whitsundays headquarters. Photo supplied