Volunteer Surf Lifesavers

I want to thank every volunteer surf lifesaver who is active over the summer and during the year for us in Australia. Surf Life Saving Australia is Australia’s peak coastal water safety drowning prevention and rescue authority. It has 168,823 volunteer members and 311 affiliated Surf Life Saving clubs. It is the largest volunteer movement of its kind in Australia. They have saved over 650,000 lives. In 2016-17 active members were involved in 10,800 rescues, 108,044 first aid treatments and nearly four million preventive actions. What a fantastic amount of work for the volunteers in over 1.35 million patrol hours. This is just a massive volunteer effort right around Australia.

It’s a unique not-for-profit community cause and it exists through community donations, fundraising, corporate sponsorship and government grants. There are also 59,662 little nippers. They’ve also concluded 850 helicopter missions. They save lives; they help create a great Australia and build better communities. The people involved with these clubs are amazing people. We have over 11,500 beaches along 36,000 kilometres of coastline, and we receive 100 million visitations in these beaches annually. It’s a huge job done by Surf Life Saving Australia. They are absolutely committed to reducing the coastal drowning toll. They are involved in emergency response.

I want to mention the ones in my electorate. The Binningup Surf Life Saving Club, the Busselton Surf Life Saving Club, the City of Bunbury Surf Life Saving Club, which was also an Australian Surf Life Saving Club of the year a few years ago. The Dalyellup Beach Surf Life Saving Club and Smiths Beach Surf Life Saving Club as well. They do an extraordinary job out in my community, as they do right around Australia. I would encourage everyone to have a look at the work that Surf Life Saving Australia has done. The national facts around rips—this is the number one hazard on our coastline.

Have a look at how to identify a rip. We know that the majority of young men—between 16 and 39—who are involved in drowning are likely to drown in a rip. So this is a very good reason for people to know about how to identify a rip. I know that these clubs will make the most of the $5,000 federal government equipment grants for their work.