Surf Life Saving Australia welcomes the announcement from the Coalition to commit an additional $10 million to surf life saving clubs over five years and assistance to help SLSA target Drowning Black Spots.
This commitment is a step in the right direction and we look forward to the further advice regarding waterways and household education as foreshadowed in the Coalition announcement.
Surf Life Saving Australia, together with our national water safety partners Royal Life Saving Society and AUSTSWIM, have identified a funding gap of just over $27 million per annum to achieve our collective target to reduce drowning deaths by at least 50% by the year 2020. A detailed submission has been provided to Government as part of its May 2012 Budget deliberations.
We do note that the Coalition will make further announcements as part of its Plan to Reduce Drownings.
With the majority of coastal drownings occurring on unpatrolled beaches or outside patrolling hours, our Black Spot Reduction Program has been designed to reduce these tragedies. This announcement of a funding increase to this program will allow us to target more Drowning Black Spots.
The funding commitment of $5000 per year to each surf life saving club would be welcomed by clubs around the country. With costs of over $52,000 per year, per club to update and maintain equipment we look to the Government and corporate partners to supplement donations we receive from the Australian public.
Surf Life Saving looks forward to working with all sides to politics to reach our goal of halving the number of coastal drownings across Australia by 2020.
Brett Williamson OAM
Chief Executive Officer
Surf Life Saving Australia