The Palaszczuk Government has boosted funding for surf safety ahead of the busy summer school holiday period.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was on the Gold Coast this morning to announce an extra $150,000 in funding for Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) to supply equipment and deliver training and awareness programs.
The extra funding is on top of the three-year $17 million funding package already provided by the Palaszczuk Government to the organisation to keep Queenslanders safe.
“With the start of summer and the school holidays just around the corner, we can’t thank Surf Life Saving Queensland and its volunteers enough for patrolling our beaches,” the Premier said.
“For more than a century, surf lifesavers have played a vital role in our state, protecting millions of beachgoers and saving thousands of lives.
“We should never take for granted that we and our visiting tourists enjoy our beaches under the eye of trained volunteers who give their time to help others.”
SLSQ CEO Dave Whimpey said volunteer surf lifesavers and professional lifeguards combined to watch over and protect more than 21 million beachgoers last year.
“The lives of 3,894 beachgoers were saved through in-water rescues in 2018/19 alone, representing a 35 per cent increase compared to the previous year,” Mr Whimpey said.
“Our lifesavers and lifeguards also treated 65,133 injured people through first aid treatments, up 85 per cent.
“This week’s warm weather and that forecast over the coming months will no doubt result in big crowds flocking to our beaches. We’re extremely grateful to the Palaszczuk Government for this vital funding boost ahead of what is going to be a busy summer.”
Other Palaszczuk Government funded surf safety initiatives:
- $102,000 to fund the SLSQ program On The Same Wave, which offers critical surf safety skills and awareness in 25+ languages for international migrants, tourists, refugees and other people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. SLSQ has directly engaged with 299,872 multicultural beachgoers over the past five years.
- In partnership with Westpac, 12 Lifesaver Rescue Drones have been introduced from Cairns to North Stradbroke Island to monitor conditions and swimmers.
SLSQ is urging all beachgoers to remember their advice:
- Always swim at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags
- Never swim at night or after designated patrol hours
- Surf, swim, or paddle with a buddy and keep a close eye on each other
- Don’t drink and swim
- Actively supervise children in and around the water
- Obtain regular medical check-ups if you are a beachgoer aged 50+
Surf Life Saving Queensland is one of the state’s largest volunteer-based community service organisations.