Summer safety campaign kicks in $5000 to Australia’s Surf Life Saving Clubs

Every surf life-saving club across the nation will receive $5000 to improve safety equipment and better-prevent drownings this summer as part of the latest round of Commonwealth funding.

Page last updated: 10 December 2015

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10 December 2015

Every surf life-saving club across the nation will receive $5000 to improve safety equipment and better-prevent drownings this summer as part of the latest round of Commonwealth funding, Minister for Sport Sussan Ley announced today.

Launching this summer’s Beach Safety Equipment Fund at Sydney’s Coogee beach, Minister Ley said the Government was providing $8 million over five years to the nation’s 311 surf lifesaving clubs to help prevent drowning deaths at our beaches.

“Under this Fund about $25,000 over five years is being provided to every Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) club, so they can purchase essential rescue equipment, first aid and medical supplies,” Ms Ley said.

“Here in Coogee, they will be using this year’s allocation to buy and update Personal Protective Equipment including life jackets and helmets, first aid kits and other rescue and lifesaving equipment.

“Around the country we’re also seeing the purchase of defibrillators, rescue tubes and two way radios, allowing our surf life savers to perform the amazing work they do each and every swimming season.

“Today’s event is also a chance for me to remind beachgoers on the importance of swimming between the flags – by far the safest option to enjoy a seaside swim – yet figures indicate just 45 per cent of people swim at patrolled beaches during patrol hours.

“A recent National Coastal Safety Report found four-in-ten coastal drowning deaths occurred more than five kilometres from a surf lifesaving club, and that three-quarters of people quizzed could not identify a hazardous rip current.

“While we still have a way to go to reduce drowning deaths, I’m pleased to see the gear purchased through this Beach Safety Equipment programme helps save lives.

“The Australian Water Safety Council has an aspirational goal to reduce drowning deaths by 50 per cent by the year 2020; it’s something the Government supports and I believe everyone can do their bit.”

The Beach Safety Equipment Fund is in addition to annual Government funding of around $8.5 million to support water safety in Australia, which is being provided to the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, SLSA, AUSTSWIM and Laurie Lawrence Swimming Enterprises.

Additional information on Commonwealth funding for water safety is available at the Department of Health's website.

ENDS

Media Contact:
Minister Ley: Steve Block 0428 213 264

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