Joint Media Release
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
Deputy Leader of The Nationals
Minister for Rural Health
Minister for Sport
Minister for Regional Communications
Senator for Victoria
George Christensen MP
Federal Member for Dawson
29 January 2018
Surf life saving clubs are a much loved part of Australia’s beach culture. At a visit to the Mackay Surf Life Saving Club in Queensland, Minister for Sport, Senator Bridget McKenzie restated the Coalition Government’s support for the vital service these clubs provide for the community.
“At Mackay today I was able to see firsthand the valuable work so many dedicated people do to serve their community and, to save lives,” Minister McKenzie said.
The local club received a grant of close to $10,000 for the replacement of cyclone-battered clubhouse roller doors.
“The Mackay Surf Lifesaving Club facility at the Mackay Harbour cops a hiding due to the harsh environment of a beachside location, and we’ve had some significant storm events in recent years, not to mention Cyclone Debbie just under twelve months ago,” Mr Christensen said.
“These roller doors are protecting lifesaving and rescue equipment worth thousands of dollars, such as inflatable rescue boats, defibrillators, first aid supplies and patrol equipment.
“People like Rod Leach and all of the staff and volunteers, have worked tirelessly to develop the Mackay club to the point where it now offers a full range of programs to everyone from the five year-old Nippers to elite athletes competing on the national circuit.
On January 1, the Coalition Government began the year by announcing an additional $3 million for life saving clubs and other water safety organisations in a bid to reduce drowning deaths and near-deaths.
“Mackay Surf Life Saving Club – and nearby clubs in Ayr, Bowen and Eimeo ¬– can access $5000 from the Beach Safety Equipment Fund to buy rescue equipment, first aid and medical supplies,” Minister McKenzie said.
“This work is funded jointly by the Coalition Government, the club and in-kind donations, making it a true community effort.”
Minister McKenzie reminded everyone to take care this summer as heatwaves are often part of the Australian summer and unfortunately too many communities experience drowning tragedies.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to reducing the number of drowning deaths and ensuring people remain safe in the water.
“Whether it’s a river, lake, dam, pool, or beach, remain vigilant around water. Know your swimming capacity, especially watch out for rips, swim between the beach flags, and never swim alone.
“And for those in coastal regions – consider joining or volunteering at your local surf life saving club. It’s a great way to stay fit and serve your community at the same time,” Minister McKenzie said.
Media contact: Kate Woodbridge: 0409 679 924 or Sally-Anne Kahl: 0427 604 564