Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes announced this week local surf clubs will receive a record allocation of funds under this year’s NSW Government Surf Club Facility Program.
Northern Beaches Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSC) have snared almost $1m of the $4m available in the latest round of funding available from the NSW Government. Funding under this program aims to upgrade surf club facilities and enhance accessibility.
The new funding is in addition to several million dollars already committed to support redevelopment of Long Reef SLSC and Mona Vale SLSC.
Palm Beach SLSC and Long Reef SLSC will each receive $350k. Whale Beach SLSC will receive $39k and Mona Vale SLSC will receive $174k.
“Our surf clubs and lifesavers are part of our local fabric and they perform a vital safety role for the community,” Rob Stokes said. “It’s fantastic this funding is being delivered to enhance capability and accessibility at these essential community facilities.”
CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW Steven Pearce welcomed the announcement and said that the grants reflected the growing importance of Surf Life Saving Clubs in the community and that they would ensure rescue facilities remained rescue ready, safe, accessible and secure.
“The role of Surf Life Saving Clubs in the community is evolving quickly. Our reach now extends well beyond the water. During the recent bushfires that devastated much of NSW, thousands of people sought shelter in our clubs and in many areas our clubs became important recovery centres in the weeks following the fires.
“Many clubs are the hub of their communities and our volunteer lifesavers should have access to fit-for-purpose facilities so they can focus on saving lives and supporting their communities in emergencies and times of crisis,” Mr Pearce said.
Three south coast clubs receiving grant funding are Bermagui SLSC, Batemans Bay SLSC and Tathra SLSC. Bermagui SLSC was pivotal during the recent NSW bushfires, sheltering over 5,000 people at the height of the crisis. They will receive grant funding for the enhancement of their communication and evacuation facilities.
Batemans Bay SLSC and Tathra SLSC, which also sheltered thousands of people during the bushfires, will receive funding to upgrade their patrol rooms and clubhouses and to improve their call-out capability.
Surf Life Saving NSW President George Shales OAM thanked the NSW Government for ongoing support and said the grants would allow significant upgrades to club facilities to improve amenities for members who protect lives in NSW.
“The Surf Club Facility Program facilitates the construction and upgrade of Surf Life Saving clubs and facilities which will make a significant difference to improving club participation, usage and importantly will also improve the safety of swimmers at NSW beaches.
“As a gazetted emergency service organisation, it’s vital that SLSNSW emergency call-out teams can respond quickly to Triple-zero emergency calls along the NSW coastline. Fit-for-purpose facilities are an important part of ensuring emergency equipment is readily accessible so we can continue to be responsive,” Mr Shales said.