Tuesday, 1 December 2009

New floating pontoon for One Mile

The Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) organisation on North Stradbroke Island has a fully-equipped vessel ready for medical evacuations at any time.

Until recently, patients who required medical evacuation on a trolley boarded the vessel via the pontoon at the Little Ship Club at One Mile. Workplace Health and Safety have now stopped this practice as the pontoon becomes too steep at low tide.

For more than 10 years, representations have been made to State and Local Governments requesting the construction of a new floating pontoon at One Mile. This would allow safe medical evacuations by the VMR, and would also provide access to the Stradbroke Flyer Water Taxi for disabled passengers and passengers in wheelchairs. Promises of imminent construction followed these representations, but no action had been forthcoming.

In July, a FOSI representative attended a meeting to support the North Stradbroke Island Local Ambulance Committee in its efforts to generate some action on this issue. A Steering Committee was formed, and it was agreed that meetings be sought with the various State Departments involved, and that a media campaign be commenced.

The Steering Committee called a meeting in early September to report some positive news. Preliminary plans for the pontoon were discussed at the meeting, and the Committee advised that the location of the proposed pontoon structure is acceptable to the Environmental authorities because it will not require further dredging. The majority of the funding for the project has been promised from various departments, and construction should commence in early 2010.