RECORD FUNDING BOOST FOR SURF LIFE SAVING
A re-elected NSW Liberal and Nationals Government will inject $23 million in to Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) to deliver vital new rescue equipment to help keep people safe along our coastline.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the funding would deliver additional rescue vehicles, jet skis, Emergency Response Beacons and communications upgrades right across the state.
“Our volunteer surf lifesavers are the lifeblood of our coastal communities, working tirelessly to protect people right up and down our state’s coastline,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This is the biggest investment that any state government has committed to SLSNSW in its 116-year history and will equip our volunteers with the equipment they need to continue to keep people as safe as possible.
“Importantly, these new rescue vehicles and jet skis can also be used during other natural disasters like floods, providing greater protections to communities right across the state.”
Minister for Sport Alister Henskens said the funding includes an additional $5 million for an expansion of the successful Surf Club Facilities Program.
“Surf clubs are community hubs for our coastal towns and we are doubling the size of this program so that dozens more facilities can undergo renovations and improvements,” Mr Henskens said.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said the funding commitment for SLSNSW comes at a critical time.
“This summer is not over yet but we’ve already experienced record numbers of rescues and sadly drownings. This extra funding will go a long way towards ensuring our volunteers are better supported to keep our communities safer and stronger,” Ms Cooke said.
SLSNSW President George Shales said an investment in lifesavers is an investment in community safety.
“I welcome today’s announcement, which is a significant increase on previous NSW Government support for our thousands of volunteers and hundreds of staff. Every single dollar will make a difference to the equipment and resources our volunteers rely on, helping us to save more lives,” Mr Hales said.
The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s $23 million funding commitment consists of:
· 22 new rescue vehicles and 68 new jet skis, which can also be deployed during other natural disasters like floods;
· 40 additional Emergency Response Beacons, enabling lifesavers to remotely monitor unpatrolled sections of the NSW coastline;
· Additional emergency management staff permanently based in Regional NSW;
· Radio communications upgrades along the south and north coasts; and
· An additional $5 million for the Surf Club Facility Program (taking it to $15 million in total), which is administered by the Office of Sport to develop facilities that increase participation in surf life saving for all people, increase usage and improve safety.
There are 76,000 SLSNSW members, of which 21,000 are frontline volunteers who patrol 129 coastal locations every weekend and public holiday between the October long weekend and Anzac Day long weekend.