Surf Life Saving Operations Centre Opens

The new Surf Life Saving NSW Northern Operations Centre at Port Macquarie was officially opened today.

The facility is a significant regional development which will provide greater training, education and sporting opportunities to lifesavers throughout the north of the state and is the result of generous joint funding from the NSW and Australian Governments.

The Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie MP attended the opening and spoke to local volunteer surf lifesavers who will benefit from new opportunities the facility will deliver for them and the community.

Construction of the Operations Centre was possible due to Surf Life Saving NSW’s successful application for funding under the NSW ClubGRANTS Category 3 scheme. In addition the Federal Government has provided funding for the facility under the Community Development Grants Programme.

"Surf lifesavers do an amazing job keeping us safe on the beach and this new centre will provide support to lifesaving activities, boost participation in volunteering and strengthen our local communities," said Dr Gillespie.

The multi-purpose building will provide a secure facility from which volunteers can train, store and maintain vital lifesaving and rescue equipment, and deliver first aid and CPR training to surf lifesavers and the community.

"The new facility will substantially increase capacity to save lives and support volunteers in the entire north of the state – in total around 32 surf life saving clubs and more than 20,000 volunteers," said Surf Life Saving NSW President Tony Haven.

"It will be a fantastic boost to our surf lifesaving capacity and an integral part of our State Emergency Response system too, which saves hundreds of lives each year outside the flags," said Tony Haven.

Locating a multi-purpose operations facility at Port Macquarie will also give regional volunteers and development programs much needed support, increasing participation in Surf Life Saving activities away from the major metropolitan centres.

Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams, said the facility will provide pathways for youth to enhance participation levels in sport and recreation activities on the Mid North Coast.

"The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is proud to support projects that encourage community participation in health and lifestyle activities and this facility will definitely improve access to sporting and recreation opportunities for the Port Macquarie community," said Mrs Williams.

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said that the ClubGRANTS program was one of the many important ways in which the not-for-profit club industry gave back to the community.

"The not-for-profit club industry is proud to support our state’s wonderful surf lifesaving volunteers, and to help make sure they can keep more people safe on our beaches and waterways."

Surf Life Saving NSW is appreciative of the support of both the NSW and Australian Governments in recognising the contribution Surf Life Saving makes to the community.

"We are grateful for the support of the Australian Government and the NSW Government, through the ClubGRANTS program, to give our regional volunteers some of the same opportunities their city counterparts enjoy," President Tony Haven said.

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Tue 30 Jun 2015