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23 September 2023 Posted by 


Govt funding for blackspots
THE NSW Government has announced the biggest funding commitment ever for Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW), pledging an additional $23M over four years to help keep NSW beaches safe.
It comes as more than 20,000 active SLSNSW volunteer lifesavers start the patrol season, with the symbolic raising of the red and yellow flags.
With predictions of a hot and dry summer, the funding commitment reinforces the critical role of SLSNSW in safeguarding the lives of NSW beachgoers.
Last year was one of the worst for drowning fatalities, with 48 lives lost along the NSW coastline and 26 coastal drownings recorded over the summer months.
Beachgoers are being urged to exercise caution and observe water safety advice from lifesavers and lifeguards this patrolling season, which runs until 28 April 2024. 
The increased funding for SLSNSW will build on its capacity to protect lives over the warmer months.
As part of the funding package, SLSNSW will receive $18M over four years through the NSW Rescue Capability Grant, for additional resources and equipment including 67 rescue watercraft, such as jet skis.
The funding will also deliver 40 permanent Emergency Response Beacons in blackspot locations, helping SLSNSW extend services in unpatrolled areas in an effort to reduce coastal drownings.
The Minns Labor government’s investment in SLSNSW will also support the upgrade, restoration and construction of surf lifesaving facilities through an additional $5M over four years for the Office of Sport’s Surf Club Facility Program.
This program aims to assist eligible Surf Life Saving Clubs to develop facilities that will enable increased participation in Surf Life Saving for all people, increase facility usage, and improve safety.
SLSNSW is one of the largest volunteer organisations of its kind in the nation with a membership of more than 75,000.
Additionally, these Surf Life Saving Clubs serve as vital community hubs across NSW.
On top of the $23M, the national body Surf Life Saving Australia will receive almost $5.8 million over four years for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, including a crucial upgrade to the hangar door at La Perouse.
President of Surf Life Saving NSW Peter Agnew said: “This is a great time to remind the community about the benefits of volunteering to be a lifesaver.
“You can volunteer as little or as much as you like and in every role, from admin, to first aid, to teaching Nippers or helping in the club canteen.”
“You can learn new skills like flying a drone or driving an inflatable rescue boat, improve your fitness and mental wellbeing and be part of a great community.”
“Finally, I want to thank our lifesavers for again standing tall and protecting our beaches and I wish them all a safe summer.”


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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