Surf Life Saving Australia’s pledge to keep our beaches safe has been given an $8 million boost through the official launch of the Federal Government Beach Safety Equipment Fund.
The initiative will provide Australian surf lifesaving clubs with an additional $1.6 million per year over the next five years to purchase vital safety equipment. It means each of the nation’s 311 surf lifesaving clubs will be entitled to $5000 per year across the terms of the agreement.
The Beach Safety Equipment Fund was officially unveiled by the Minister for Health and Sport Peter Dutton MP at Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club this morning.
The funding is part of the Federal Government’s commitment to reduce drowning deaths, in alignment with the Australian Water Safety Council, by 50% by 2020.
Beach Safety Equipment Funding will be directed towards the purchase of vital rescue equipment, first aid and medical supplies. It is a timely boost as Surf Life Saving Australia prepares for a busy summer on our beaches.
“Surf Life Savers have been patrolling Australia’s coastline for more than 100 years but there have been significant improvements to the way we facilitate our primary goal of keeping our beaches safe,” Surf Life Saving Australia President Graham Ford said.
“Technology has improved and the availability of equipment to patrolling members and clubs is the best it has ever been. Getting it costs a lot of money though so the Beach Safety Equipment Fund opens up that opportunity to clubs to have the best possible tools available to them to help save lives when the need arises.”
“This is a fantastic initiative from the Federal Government and they should be applauded for their foresight in recognising the basic need to keep our coastline safe. Research tells us more than 100-million people visit our beaches every year so it forms a considerable slice of the Australian way and lifestyle and is an incredibly important issue to get right. On behalf of all Surf Life Saving clubs around Australia, thank you for your support.”
In 2013/14, Surf Life Saving volunteers performed more than one million preventative actions, almost 12,000 rescues and 32,000 first aid treatments across 1.2 million volunteer patrol hours.
For further information about the BSEF Scheme click here.