A POPULAR education program delivering beach safety to tens of thousands of school students right across Queensland will continue thanks to renewed funding from the State Government.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government would contribute $100,000 to Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Beach Safe Schools Program to May 2018.
The program was delivered to more than 38,000 students from 127 schools across Queensland last year.
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“Queensland and our beach destinations like the Gold Coast are known for our sand, surf and sunshine,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“However, it’s important to help keep our beaches safe by ensuring we have appropriate programs in place and life savers to keep an eye on beach-goers.
“This funding means we can have more lifesavers in front of more students to educate them about how to be safe on Queensland beaches.”
Health Minister Cameron Dick said Queensland Health had supported and funded the important program since 2011.
“Lifesavers provide a vital service on our beaches and the program aims to equip students with knowledge and practical skills to stay safe when swimming or playing at the beach or public waterways and also advice on how to stay sun safe,” he said.
“This funding will enable SLSQ to expand the program and provide additional trained presenters and facilitators to run educational sessions in regional areas including Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Bundaberg, Gympie and the Sunshine Coast, Greater Brisbane, Lockyer Valley and the Gold Coast.”
The announcement comes on top of the $17 million funding package over three years announced as part of the State Budget for the renewal of a Service Agreement between Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and SLSQ.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said SLSQ was one of the largest volunteer-based community organisations in Australia, with more than 30,000 members in 58 clubs and six branches in Queensland alone.
“SLSQ members are passionate about water safety and proactive in leading the way in advocacy and community leadership programs, striving to make our beaches and public waterways safe and healthy for everyone,” Minister Ryan said.
“The renewed Service Agreement is an important step in securing essential services to ensure the safety of our beautiful beachside communities for residents and holidaymakers alike, as well as safeguarding the organisation’s sustainability into the future.”
SLSQ president Mark Fife said they’re extremely appreciative of the Queensland Government’s ongoing support.
“We look forward to working directly with the Premier and her team moving forward to save lives and protect beachgoers across the state,” Mr Fife said.