Lives will be saved on Australian beaches this summer thanks to vital equipment purchased through the Federal Government’s Beach Safety Equipment Fund.
Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport Sussan Ley launched the second year of the Beach Safety Equipment Fund at Coogee Surf Life Saving Club this morning.
Coogee SLSC is one of 313 Surf Life Saving clubs across Australia eligible for a $5000 Federal Government grant to purchase safety equipment this year.
The Beach Safety Equipment entitles Surf Life Saving clubs to $5000 per year for five years, as part of an $8 million dollar Federal Government commitment to reduce Australia’s coastal drowning death rate, in conjunction with Surf Life Saving Australia.
“Our goal is zero preventable deaths in Australian coastal waters, so every bit of financial help allows our Surf Life Saving clubs to have the best possible rescue equipment available to them,” Surf Life Saving Australia President Graham Ford said.
“There is no escaping the fact that Surf Life Saving equipment is expensive, especially as technology improves. This money eases the burden on our clubs and helps them to patrol Australia’s beaches with the most up to date equipment on offer.”
In the first year of the Beach Safety Equipment Fund, almost 2000 pieces of equipment ranging from defibrillators to IRBs, rescue boards and first aid equipment were purchased by clubs across Australia.
“That is an immense contribution from the Federal Government to protecting beachgoers across Australia,” Mr Ford.
“In the same season that equipment was purchased, Surf Lifesavers performed 1.3 million volunteer patrol hours nationally. More than 12,000 rescues were done. Every single piece of equipment accessed through the Beach Safety Equipment fund has played a part in saving lives. That is something to be very proud of.”
This year, $1.6 million will be made available for Surf Life Saving clubs across Australia as part of the Federal Government’s commitment to reduce drowning deaths, in alignment with the Australian Water Safety Council, by 50% by 2020.