October 10, 2023

The Australian Volunteer Coastguard at Boonooroo has received two Australian Government grants to upgrade their base building and to maintain and repair their rescue vehicle.

The Boonooroo Coastguard received $7,500 from Round 8 of the former Coalition Government’s Stronger Communities Program to improve access to the base building by replacing the ageing steps with a non-slip covered walkway.

The Coastguard was also awarded $1,500 from the 2022-23 Volunteer Grants Program for the purchase of tools and equipment that will be used for undertaking maintenance and repairs on their rescue vessel.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien met with Gerard Donoghue from the Boonooroo Coastguard today to see firsthand the benefits this funding has delivered to the volunteers and the important marine rescue work they undertake.

“Our Volunteer Coastguards do an absolutely amazing job,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Their volunteer search and rescue missions keep boaties safe on the water, they monitor marine radio around the clock for distress calls and also provide marine safety training and education activities for the public.

“These grants will provide safer access for the Boonooroo Coastguard’s volunteers and members to the building and help keep people safe on the water by maintaining the Coastguard recue vessel,” Mr O’Brien said.

Gerard Donoghue from the Boonooroo Volunteer Coastguard said that receiving the two grants had allowed them to improve safety and provide weather protection for their volunteers and assist them in maintaining their marine rescue vessel.

“Our volunteers and our rescue vessel are vital to our operations, and we are delighted to have been given these grants to support the important work we do in keeping people safe on the water,” Mr Donoghue said.

“Volunteers perform a range of important work, caring for others and delivering a variety of community services, making an enormous difference to the wellbeing of countless Australians,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Volunteer and Stronger Communities grant programs are important in supporting not-for-profit organisations with small capital projects and with purchasing equipment to support their volunteers in their work.”

The Stronger Communities Program was discontinued in the Labor Government’s May 2023 Budget and replaced by the Growing Regions Program which has grants available from $500,000 up to $15 million, but a 50 per cent co-contribution is required by the applicant.

“Unfortunately, the Growing Regions Program’s minimum grant threshold has been set so high at $500,000, many local and community organisations will be ineligible to apply for this funding,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien also said the Liberal and National Coalition is calling on the Government to deliver a regional development program that can help local community, sporting, and ex-service organisations to deliver small scale projects and provide more opportunities in their local communities.


In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.