More funds to help stem loss of life at beaches

Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker: “With 10 lifesaving clubs in the Cowper electorate, this funding is a very welcome boost.”
Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker: “With 10 lifesaving clubs in the Cowper electorate, this funding is a very welcome boost.”

Lifesaving clubs on the Mid-North Coast will each receive a $5000 boost from the Coalition government to help reduce drownings and near-deaths.

Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker said the funding is part of an additional $3 million the federal government is providing to lifesaving clubs and other water safety organisations around Australia.

“With 10 lifesaving clubs in the Cowper electorate, this funding is a very welcome boost,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

Much of the funding will go to the government’s beach equipment program for clubs to buy rescue equipment, first aid and medical supplies. Some clubs may buy new technology such as drones to enable remote monitoring of unpatrolled beaches.

The five year Reduce Drownings initiative began in 2013-14. It provided a total funding boost of $15 million to Surf Life Saving Australia, surf lifesaving clubs across Australia, the Royal Life Saving Society Australia and AUSTSWIM.

The 2018-19 funding will go towards the same programs. As well as the beach equipment program, it will boost:

• SLSA’s Beach Drowning Black Spot reduction program to tackle the incidence of drowning in identified high risk areas;

• RLSSA’s River Drowning Black Spot identification program and Swim and Survive lessons for children, especially Indigenous and disadvantaged children;

• AUSTSWIM’s program to provide accredited swimming and water safety teachers to targeted population groups, including remote, migrant and disadvantaged communities, and people with a disability.

This financial year, the Turnbull government will provide more than $15 million for ongoing water safety activities by SLSA, RLSSA, AUSTSWIM and Laurie Lawrence Swimming Enterprises. These include awareness-raising, education, policy advice, surf lifesaving activities, surf patrols, swimming lessons, and swim teachers’ training and education.

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