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Journeys : April May 2010
Round 1 recipient -- Coast Guard Freycinet for the installation of communications equipment Direct emergency communications on Tasmania's lower East Coast have been greatly enhanced through the purchase of equipment for Coast Guard Freycinet, through the provision of an R ACT Community Fund grant. Based in Swansea, Coast Guard Freycinet is a volunteer marine rescue group that operates as a flotilla of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association. It covers Bicheno to Orford, including Great Oyster Bay and Freycinet Peninsula. Some time ago the group was called to attend a yacht that had washed on to rocks near Coles Bay. Although the Coast Guard's rescue boat carried serviceable marine and UHF radio equipment, the situation quickly highlighted the difficulty of communicating effectively when radio equipment on a vessel is knocked out, or when sur vivors on shore do not have access to a portable radio. Research into a solution revealed a public address system, specifically built for the marine environment, which operates as both a loud speaker and a 'loud listener'. The equipment amplifies incoming voice, giving the boat crew a good chance of hearing calls from people on another boat or on shore. The rescue boat can stay at a safe distance yet still communicate over the noise of wind and sea. To supplement the public address system, the flotilla sought to buy a pair of simple, low-cost radios that could be drifted to sur vivors or even delivered through surf to sur vivors stranded on shore. However, there were simply no spare funds for the communication project, despite the obvious worth of the project. This was a case of the R ACT coming to the rescue of the rescuers -- with 'Help when you need it most'. The group had developed a case statement for the equipment and was quick to make a submission when applications were invited for the inaugural funding round of the newly-formed R ACT Community Fund. "Approval of our application was a great morale booster," says Col Barney, Coast Guard Freycinet's Flotilla Commander. "R ACT's help came at a time when we really needed a lift. Not only could we buy and install this vital equipment, but we also had a project that we could tick off as completed. Both were important milestones for the Coast Guard volunteers." Infrastructure Strategy released On the eve of the state election, the Gover nment released the Tasmanian Infrastr ucture Strategy. A package of documents relating to it can be found at w ww.infrastructure.tas.gov.au It is, according to the site, 'an integrated long- term strategy to guide future infrastr ucture priorities a nd decision-m aking.' In initiating the strategy, the Tasmanian Government 'has the potential to lead the nation in coming to ter m s with its infrastructure challenges.' The RACT has been calling for a long- term plan for a number of years, so we welcome the release of the new strategy. RACT Community Fund Coast Guard Freycinet at Cranbrook Fair 2009 Our Roadmap for the next Tasmanian Government In the lead-up to the Tasmanian state election, we released our Roadmap for the next Tasmanian Government, listing fifty recommendations to further the cause of 'safer drivers in safer cars on safer roads.' The Roadmap was developed over more than six months, with input from members, the R ACT's three regional advisory committees, Tasmanian community stakeholders, state and federal agencies, and Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs. It was sent to the leaders of all three major parties and to their infrastructure and police spokespeople. The document received significant media coverage and positive feedback from both our members and the general public. At the time of writing, we had requested each party's response to this document in order to share the findings with both our ow n members and the wider public. The Roadmap can be dow nloaded in full from w w w.ract.com.au and we will also be posting details of the political parties' responses online as they are received. In our community 5 April / May 10
Feb March 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010