The funding would be used to accelerate the Club rebuilding program and extend the surveillance hours for the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.
Under the new funding arrangement SLSSA will have the final say on how many hours often the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter will be in the air.
President John Baker was understandably delighted with the news, particularly because it would expedite the Club rebuilding program from approx 25 to 8-10 years.
“The Club rebuilding program has been our primary focus for some time because this is where our volunteers provide the front line service” Baker said.
“Our volunteers are the heart of this organisation and they need good amenities from which to operate if we are expecting them to give up their weekends and public holidays to provide a first responder emergency service to the community.”
“Surf Life Saving Clubs are used as storage facilities for our emergency service response gear and equipment, training bases and community hubs; and those Clubs that have already undergone a rebuild or refurbishments have experienced exponential growth in membership which in turns increases the service we are able to provide.”
This flexibility within the funding to allow SLSSA to return to full functionality with the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter service means that extended patrols can be done as and when needed. With today’s announcement SLSSA has already arranged for the helicopter to be in the air from 4pm today and it will now be able to undertake mid-week patrols during particularly hot weather or heavy beach visitation times.
Baker finished his comments by stating: “The confidence the Government has showed in surf lifesaving today will see us continuing to operate as the State’s peak water safety authority.”
For further information please contact John Baker - President, SLSSA"