$16m has been committed over four years to NSW Surf Life Saving Clubs.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet was at Warriewood Beach yesterday (Sunday, 06 June) to announce the funding. He was joined by two Ministers from the Northern Beaches, Natalie Ward and Rob Stokes along with CEO of Life Saving NSW Steven Pearce.

The new funding includes $300k for Warriewood Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) for improved beach access, redirection of a public walkway and resurfacing works.

Both familiar with surf club duties, Ministers Ward and Stokes took part in an Inflatable Rubber Boat (IRB) exercise with members of Warriewood SLSC as part of yesterday’s announcement.

Natalie Ward

Natalie Ward

NSW Minister for Sport Natalie Ward said the new commitment of funds to surf life saving reflected the important role that clubs play in the community and encouraged clubs to apply for grants of between $30k and $250k for eligible projects.

“Local surf clubs are the life blood of our coastal communities, they provide so many services to our communities. Whether it’s as a community function centre, a social space for members or as was seen at Tathra during last summers bushfires, as an evacuation point for the community.

“As a mum, I’ve stood in the mornings with my Nipper children on the beach as many parents have done. It’s a delight to know that we are safe in this beautiful environment because of the volunteers and the surf clubs that stand behind us.

“These programs will improve facilities so those volunteers can provide us with a safe environment so we can all enjoy the surf with our kids.

“I congratulate all the successful applicants in this year’s program. The $3.5m across 29 clubs will go towards projects like; disabled access, amenities upgrades, upgrade to windows and roof, the installation of solar panels, patrol and radio towers, training rooms and resurfacing works, redirection of a public walkway and beach access at Warriewood.

“I encourage all Surf Life Saving Clubs to apply for future rounds, when they become available,” said Minister Ward.

Rob Stokes

Rob Stokes

Established in 1951 and celebrating 70 years of community service, Warriewood SLSC was praised by Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes for being part of the fabric of the Northern Beaches.

“Warriewood surf life saving volunteers are on the beaches every weekend, rain, hail or shine, protecting our community. The grant of $300,689 will really help improve facilities so that our volunteers can keep beachgoers safe here on the Northern Beaches,” said Minister Stokes.

Steven Pearce

Steven Pearce

CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW Steven Pearce said that the funds were needed in the wake of impacts of COVID-19 on fundraising activities, and the greater demands being placed on Surf Life Saving as a newly gazetted emergency service.

“It’s a wonderful announcement today. These funds are not just for infrastructure, these funds go towards the community. Our surf clubs are iconic on the beaches but they are in fact community hubs.

“They have been utilised for surf life saving, for rescues on the beach, for educating the community but most important, just recently during the devastating floods and bushfires, they were used to house thousands of the community members in their times of need.

“Essentially our surf clubs and our members turned away from facing east and to the west, straight back into the community to look after the community. These funds going forward will be so valuable for the organisation,” said Mr Pearce.

George Shales OAM

George Shales

President of Surf Life Saving NSW George Shales OAM, said safe, accessible and secure rescue facilities across the state remain a top priority.

“Surf Life Saving Clubs are often the hub of communities and our volunteer lifesavers require access to fit-for-purpose facilities so they can focus on saving lives. The funding will allow significant upgrades to surf club facilities to improve access for our 75,000 members.

“We have 129 clubs across the State, volunteer surf lifesavers who performed over 2,500 rescues, 141,000 preventative actions and 7,000 first aid treatments last year,” said Mr Shales.

Another local club to receive funding as part of the announcement is North Curl Curl SLSC, which  will receive $31,363 for the installation of solar panels. Member for Manly James Griffin congratulated the club.

James Griffin

James Griffin

“Northern Beaches surf lifesavers play a vital role patrolling our beaches and keeping us safe in the water. These volunteers are on the beaches every weekend in good weather or bad, protecting residents and visitors. This funding is crucial to our local clubs to ensure they continue to keep the community safe at the beach,” said Mr Griffin.

The full video of the funding announcement can be watched below. For further information about the Surf Club Facility Program, including the list of recipients, visit the NSW Office of Sport.

Images and video: NSW Government