Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has reaffirmed its commitment to the delivery of world-class lifeguard services statewide, despite the completion of its contract on Green Island.
SLSQ’s professional lifeguard arm, the Australian Lifeguard Service Queensland (ALSQ), provides aquatic safety services to governments, councils, and land managers across the state.
For almost 20 years, this has included the provision of lifeguard services on Green Island – an identified blackspot location.
SLSQ Chief Lifeguard Greg Cahill said the popular tourist destination posed a risk for international guests who were unfamiliar with the state’s beaches.
“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of ALSQ lifeguards, both past and present, for their invaluable work on Green Island in helping to protect both domestic and overseas visitors,” Mr Cahill said.
“The vast experience of our guards, combined with the advantage of a statewide communications centre and data management system, has ensured the safety of thousands of beachgoers during our tenure.”
Mr Cahill paid tribute to the significant efforts of the SLSQ lifeguards who had patrolled the island over the past 20 years.
“Of the lifeguards who currently work on the island, 17 have over 5 years’ experience, and six guards boast over 10 year’s experience, bringing incredible knowledge and skills to the role,” he said.
“It is important to note that all of our guards will be transitioned across the Cairns region, ensuring that the completion of our contract on Green Island will result in no job losses.
“I would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the various partners and stakeholders we have worked with to deliver lifeguard services and safety advice to those visiting the island.”
Surf Life Saving Queensland has delivered several key safety initiatives on Green Island in recent years to educate and protect beachgoers. These initiatives have included:
- Installation of a permanent lifeguard tower.
- Work in consultation with tourism industry operators to increase supervision and protection of recreational snorkelers, along with continued advocacy for mandatory and industry-wide use of lifejackets for all snorkelers.
- Delivery of signage audits resulting in the provision of multilingual surf safety messaging across the island.
- Multilingual surf safety messaging was also developed for display on passenger ferries travelling to and from the island.
- Drone technology was trialled within lifeguard operations.
- Life-Fi technology was trialled to engage with international beachgoers.
Mr Cahill said while disappointed the lifeguard services contract on Green Island would conclude on Monday (30 September), the organisation remained as committed as ever to the protection of beachgoers statewide.
“We will continue to deliver world-class lifeguarding and volunteer services as we work towards our mission of zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters.”