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More EPIRBs and More Locations to Hire Them


The State Government will increase the availability of Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs), the Minister for Tourism, Parks and Heritage Ken Bacon said today.

"The State Government has purchased an additional 25 EPIRBs and made them available at more places throughout the state.

"From tomorrow, 20 December, EPIRBs will be available for hire from Service Tasmania shops at Burnie, Devonport, Launceston and Hobart.

"The emergency beacons were previously available only at several Parks visitor centres and offices, but the availability of them at Service Tasmania shops in four main centres should make EPIRBs more accessible to Tasmanians and visitors alike.

"Following the success of a trial begun by Tasmania Police and the Parks and Wildlife Service several years ago, the availability of emergency beacons for hire will be further extended throughout the State.

"The trial of emergency beacons has been a success since its inception, with numerous successful rescues of walkers in remote locations. In 2003, approximately 450 beacons were hired," Mr Bacon said.

"It will also allow other recreational groups, such as four wheel drivers, sea kayakers and boat owners to more easily access the units."

A limited number of EPIRBS will continue to be available at the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre for use on the Overland Track.

Mr Bacon said that along with the increase in locations hiring the EPIRBs, the hire fee would increase to $30 per week from December 20.

"This fee puts the hire service on a commercial basis and provides for maintenance and replacement of the units as necessary," he said.

Tasmania Police and the Parks and Wildlife Service encourage anyone visiting remote areas to be responsible for their own safety and remind people that EPIRBs are to be activated only in life-threatening emergencies.

This initiative is part of the State Government's commitment to progressing Tasmania Together Goals 21 - Value, protect and conserve our natural and cultural heritage.