$36m funding swell for surf life savers

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

A $30 million government election commitment to support Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) was confirmed at a function held at Parliament House in Brisbane tonight.

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan MP, who spoke at the Parliamentary Friends of SLSQ event, said the organisation would receive the funding over four years.

“SLSQ has had a long and proud history in Queensland, keeping beachgoers safe for more than 90 years,” Mr Ryan said.

“They not only provide lifesaving services and surf sports, they are also instrumental in building awareness and community capability through public safety education, commercial training and fundraising.

“The state government recognises the vital community service SLSQ provides and this funding ensures they can continue their incredible work.

“An additional $6 million is provided from the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport for infrastructure projects such as surf club upgrades, relocations and repairs.

“The 34,000 dedicated and hardworking volunteers donate their time and watch over millions of local, interstate and international visitors who flock to our beaches each year.

“Our 57 Surf Life Saving Clubs deserve to be supported with equipment and infrastructure that helps them do their job.

“By working together, we can help SLSQ achieve their vision of zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters.”

Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Surf Life Saving Queensland was one of our state’s largest volunteer-based community organisations.

“Many clubs are the hub of their coastal communities,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The funding from the Palaszczuk Government means clubs will be able to make improvements to infrastructure and equipment.

“We know better facilities and equipment attract new members including an increase in the number girls joining up to take their place on the team and play important role in keeping Queensland beaches safe.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) will manage the service agreement aligned to this funding.

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach, who was at the event, said surf life savers were an integral part of emergency response on our beaches.

“Surf life savers are the bridge between the public and emergency services and when emergencies occur their actions saves lives,” Mr Leach said.

“Like many of our QFES volunteers, surf life savers show courage and resilience when faced with challenging and often dangerous situations.

“It is through their vigilance that we can feel safe while visiting and enjoying our incredible Queensland beaches.

A new group of Parliamentary Friends of SLSQ, who will promote and support the activities of SLSQ and engage with them on beach and coastal safety, were also welcomed on the night.

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