Surf Life Saving Clubs on the Sunshine Coast will benefit from upgraded equipment and bolstered training programs to keep beachgoers safe thanks to a Federal Government funding boost.
Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that the Morrison Government is providing $9.7 million in additional funding to Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) to support the work of Surf Life Saving Clubs as they protect beachgoers and improve volunteer lifesaving skills.
“As a proud Patrol Captain at Alexandra Heads, I know how vital the work of our Surf Life Saving Clubs is. Thousands of volunteers turn out every week in Queensland, giving up hours of their time to keep beachgoers safe, and this funding is going to mean they have the best possible equipment to help them make a difference.” Mr Wallace said.
This Morrison Government funding means surf lifesaving clubs will now be able to access up to $10,000 per annum over the next two years to purchase new or replacement patrol equipment such as rescue boards, life jackets, rescue manikins, inflatable rescue boats, all-terrain vehicles, defibrillators, and first aid and medical supplies. The new funding also includes $6.6 million over two years to continue providing vocational education and training (VET) to volunteers and build on SLSA’s capability.
“Since my election in 2016, the Coalition Government has provided almost $100,000 in small grants to Surf Life Saving Clubs across Fisher, including funding solar panels and a new patrol trailer at Metropolitan Caloundra SLSC, security upgrades at Mooloolaba SLSC and an inflatable rescue boat for Dicky Beach SLSC. Now this additional funding will ensure our local clubs will have the ability to purchase further vital equipment and medical supplies that they need to keep Australians safe on our beaches.”
Five Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSCs) in the southern and central Sunshine Coast electorate of Fisher are set to benefit from these grants; Alexandra Headland SLSC, Dicky Beach SLSC, Kawana Waters SLSC, Metropolitan Caloundra SLSC and Mooloolaba SLSC.
Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck said the training offered by Surf Life Saving to club volunteers and members provided them with transferrable skills beyond lifesaving.
“As well as being able to use new skills learnt during VET training for the purpose of life-saving, around 25 per cent of SLS members believe these new skills helped them gain employment,” he said.
“This funding will also help upgrade SLSA’s technology to enhance the training it offers, cut red tape and expand its recruitment and recognition of supervisors, trainers and assessors at clubs.”
The additional funding for SLSA’s Beach Safety Equipment Fund brings the Government’s investment for this initiative to $9.1 million from 2018–19 to 2021–22. The Morrison Government’s additional investment in VET training for SLSA brings its total commitment to this program to $16.6 million between 2016–17 and 2021–22.
“With this significant support, the Morrison Government is ensuring clubs and their members across the country can continue to do what they do best – saving lives.” Mr Wallace said.
SLSA is the largest volunteer movement in Australia with more than 173,000 members and 314 affiliated surf clubs across the length and breadth of the nation.