$1M To Fund New Surf Life Saving Regional Facility

Surf Life Saving NSW has been successful in securing funding for a new regional training and operations hub at Port Macquarie, which will substantially increase capacity to save lives and support volunteers from the lower north to far north coast, centred in the mid-north coast region.

Through the Federal Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund, $1million has been allocated to help Surf Life Saving NSW build a regional training and operations facility which will provide services including:

  • Training and education for Surf Life Saving members in first aid, rescue and emergency response
  • First aid and community surf education for members of the public
  • Store vital emergency response equipment such as jet skis and IRBs for quicker response times
  • Provide administrative support for 30,000+ members and 32 surf clubs in northern NSW

Surf Life Saving NSW President, Tony Haven, says the funding announcement is good news for volunteerism in regional areas and will help save lives.

“The new regional centre in Port Macquarie will be a fantastic boost to our surf lifesaving capacity in the mid-north coast region and surrounding areas,” said Tony Haven.

“It will be an important spoke in the wheel of our State Emergency Response system too, which saves hundreds of lives each year outside the flags.

“We’re grateful for the support of the local member Rob Oakeshott in helping to secure funding for this important project through the Regional Development Australia Fund and also the support we received from local, state and federal members of parliament, government agencies and emergency services organisations.”

Building the facility will provide opportunities for the local construction industry and once the centre is established, it will provide an opportunity to centralise training for members by volunteers, train the community and external bodies, and give lifesavers badly needed storage facilities.

The funding should meet about half the cost of the project and Surf Life Saving NSW will work to fund the remaining amount to establish the facility.

“We’re really excited the Federal Government has seen the importance of supporting a volunteer organisation such as Surf Life Saving to provide better services to our members and the public in regional areas.

“We were up against 170 other applications for funding so we’re very pleased to have been successful,” said Tony Haven.

Construction of the building in Central Road is planned to begin soon. DA approval has already been given and it is hoped the facility will be complete by mid-2014.

Thu 6 Jun 2013