Dive rescue services get $12m boost
About $12 million is to be spent on Fire Services diving vessels and equipment so divers can carry out complex rescues after the Royal Navy leaves.
The department will buy two boats to speed divers to emergency rescues at a cost of about $1 million each.
An independent diving unit will be formed, headed by a divisional officer and comprising 150 divers on call.
During the second phase between 1998 and 1999 the department will commission a $10 million diving support vessel equipped with a decompression chamber.
The chamber would be needed for complicated operations in the event of an aircraft ditching into the sea or a ship sinking.
The on-board decompression chamber would be more practical than the chamber at Stonecutters Island.
The department has also bought 12 shark protection devices, at a cost of $60,000, which create an electromagnetic field around divers to ward off potential man-eaters.