The Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) was launched last night at Parliament House in front of Members of Parliament, dignitaries and surf lifesaving representatives.
The Parliamentary Friends of SLSQ has been formed as a bi-partisan group for all Members of Parliament to support, promote and actively engage with the state’s peak authority on beach and coastal safety.
The group will be co-chaired by Michael Hart MP, State Member for Burleigh, and Fiona Simpson MP, State Member for Maroochydore and Speaker of the Queensland Parliament.
SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan applauded the initiative, and said he was looking forward to working directly with members of parliament to save lives on Queensland beaches and waterways.
“The surf lifesaving movement has a long and proud history in Queensland, and right across Australia for that matter,” Mr Brennan said.
“Each year SLSQ’s volunteer surf lifesavers perform a vital community service along the state’s coastline, watching over millions of beachgoers and saving thousands of lives in the process.
“We welcome this announcement and look forward to working closely with our Parliamentary Friends to promote SLSQ’s role on the beach and out in the community as we strive to achieve our overall vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’,” he said.
State Member for Burleigh, Michael Hart MP, said he was pleased to help launch the initiative.
“From Coolangatta to the Cape, more than 30,000 members of the surf lifesaving community volunteered their time in the last patrolling season alone,” he said.
“As a patrolling surf lifesaver at Pacific SLSC, I know the hard work and dedication it takes to keep our beaches safe which will include roughly 350,000 patrol hours in the upcoming Queensland season,” he said.
Fiona Simpson, Member for Maroochydore, said, “I value the great community service these wonderful volunteers provide to keep our beaches safe. The Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving Queensland group will allow us to be even more intentional as to how we can continue to support them.”
Last year SLSQ’s volunteer surf lifesavers collectively spent 354,246 hours on patrol, and combined with lifeguards to perform 494,710 preventative actions, 12,990 first aid treatments and, most importantly, save 3,536 lives.