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Surf clubs up and down the NSW coastline will have access once again to a pool of more than $5 million following the announcement of the NSW Government’s Surf Club Facility Grant Program for 2023-24.

Minister for Sport, Steve Kamper and Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib announced on Tuesday 7 November that applications were now open, with funds available to go towards the upgrade, restoration, and construction of Surf Life Saving facilities.

Last year over $5 million was allocated to surf clubs in NSW – major among them a grant of $650,000 to Brunswick SLSC and Forster SLSC as contributions to varying stages of overall clubhouse redevelopment, $490,000 to Gerringong SLSC as part of a vital facilities overhaul, and $482,836 to Tacking Point SLSC for the construction of a First Aid room, administration offices and training spaces.

In all, 26 clubs benefitted from the most recent round of funding, and Surf Life Saving NSW President, Peter Agnew hopes even more clubs can take advantage of the funding this year.

“Last year our volunteer surf lifesavers performed over 3,500 rescues, 176,000 preventative actions and almost 6,000 first aid treatments,” he said.

“We are pleased to see the NSW Government acknowledge and support the amazing contribution made by our volunteer lifesavers and surf clubs in NSW.

 “We have 129 clubs across the state, with 76,000 members, and this program allows those members, who do such important work volunteering at our beaches, to focus on saving lives.

“Our lifesavers and Nippers deserve safe, secure facilities in which to train and store vital rescue equipment, as well as somewhere accessible which welcomes the community in to be part of our great and iconic movement.”

Clubs will be able to apply for up to $1,000,000 through the program, with three categories – being Facility Improvement Projects, Small-Medium Construction Projects and Large Construction Projects – offering tiered funding support and a streamlined application process.

“NSW Surf Life Saving Clubs deliver a world-class service, protecting swimmers in the water and keeping people safe at the beach,” Minister Kamper said.

“That’s why we have increased funding for this program, to ensure our Surf Life Saving Clubs are modern, inclusive and accessible, enabling people from all sections of the community to participate.”

Minister Dib said the program had been boosted from $4m to $5m each year.

“Rain, hail or shine, surf lifesavers never waver in their commitment to protecting the community and the NSW Government will continue to support them in the incredible work they do,” he said.

“With more people enjoying our beautiful beaches during the warmer months, we are investing in these facility upgrades to support our dedicated lifesaving volunteers.”

Applications for this round of grants close on differing dates by category. Category 1 applications, being Facility Improvement Projects, close on 11 December 2023, while Category 2 and 3 applications, being Small-Medium Construction Projects and Large Construction Projects, close on 31 January 2024.

Thursday 9 November 2023