More lifeguards will be funded by Sunshine Coast Council to patrol the region’s most popular beaches during busy holiday periods under a four-year plan endorsed today.
Alongside Surf Life Saving Queensland, which is contracted to provide the lifeguard services, council has developed the Lifeguard Service Plan 2018-2022 which will add additional lifeguards and services to a number of Coast beaches.
The first additions will come at Currimundi Beach where the service will be upgraded with patrols to be extended to include the winter months on weekends, school and public holidays, and at Mooloolaba Spit which will be increased to two lifeguards midweek during September to May, with both service improvements starting in the coming financial year.
Customer Service Portfolio Cr Ted Hungerford said there was a growing demand for the lifeguard service across the Sunshine Coast thanks to the region’s growing population and more people visiting our beaches.
“It’s important that we respond to the challenges facing our lifeguards so we can maintain the beach safety standards that our community and holidaymakers expect,” Cr Hungerford said.
“With our professional lifeguards and our dedicated volunteer lifesavers from the various surf clubs we have 10 patrolled beaches available 365 days per year and a further 10 beaches have seasonal patrols.
“They provide great peace of mind for everyone who uses our beaches.”
SLSQ lifeguard supervisor Rhys Drury said: “We are ecstatic that Sunshine Coast Council has invested in the current and future safety of beachgoers.
“We look forward to implementing this new plan, which will allow us to continue to provide the highest level of care to the ever-increasing amount of visitors to the region.”
The Service Plan will be implemented in stages over the four-year period.
Discovery Beach will be patrolled all-year round thanks to the addition of mid-week patrols during winter, and there will be a doubling of lifeguards – from one to two whenever the patrol is operational – at Yaroomba Beach and Boardwalk (Marcoola) from 2019-20.
An extra lifeguard will be on patrol two weeks prior to the Queensland state schools Christmas holiday period at Kings Beach, Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore and Coolum, starting in 2020-21.
The five prime tourist locations will also have lifeguard resources increased across the full day during the popular and busy Easter, September and Christmas school holidays.
The plan also includes, in 2020-21, an extra lifeguard at Twin Waters during the Easter, September and Christmas school holidays and there are plans for a new lifeguard tower at Bokarina Beach for a service expected to start in that financial year.