The successful partnership between Sunshine Coast Council and Surf Life Saving Queensland to provide lifeguard services for the region’s beaches will continue for another five years.
The contract extension, which starts this month, will allow SLSQ and the Australian Lifeguard Service Queensland to work directly with council to watch over and protect the hundreds of thousands of beachgoers who visit the Sunshine Coast in growing numbers each year.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said among the most significant achievements since the contract started five years ago had been the delivery of an additional 3700 lifeguard hours, which was vital for keeping our beach-users safe.
“Twenty beaches are patrolled under the lifeguard service contract – 10 beaches all year while the other 10 are seasonal,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Discovery Beach recently became a 365-day patrol with SLSQ sourcing funding to continue lifeguard services midweek over the winter months. Previously it had only been patrolled on weekends during May to September.
“The services have also continued to receive a high rating result through council’s Community Satisfaction Survey for both importance and level of satisfaction.
“The professional lifeguards provide a hugely valuable role which is very much appreciated by everyone who uses our beaches.
“They are a great source of comfort for swimmers and beach users.”
Surf Life Saving Queensland CEO John Brennan said: “Keeping people safe in Queensland public waters is our core business, while our vision is and will always be zero preventable deaths.”
“Whether it’s paid lifeguards on patrol, volunteer surf lifesavers on a weekend or public holiday, a helicopter patrolling from above, or highly trained staff manning and monitoring all beaches from a communications centre, we pride ourselves on providing the very best integrated service in the world, and we’re thrilled to continue our vision for the next five years with Sunshine Coast Council.
“We look forward to maintaining a cost-effective service for council and ratepayers, while delivering a world class service for all to enjoy Sunshine Coast beaches safely.”
Surf Life Saving Queensland, through the Australian Lifeguard Service, employs 31 permanent lifeguards, three supervisors, and up to 98 casual lifeguards in peak periods to provide services on 27 beaches within the Sunshine Coast region.
Other service improvements have included:
- The introduction of the Seadoo Spark Jetski to the ALSQ fleet which has provided lifeguards with a lighter, more compact and efficient rescue water craft for patrol, search and rescue scenarios.
- Standardisation of all beach opening hours across the council region, ensuring uniformity from beach to beach.
- Integration of ALSQ services with the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service, with four lifeguards now qualified crewmen.
- Introduction of smart device technology for logging incidents and statistics.