Funding boost for Aussie surf life saving

·1-min read

The federal government has pledged to tip an additional $9.7 million over the next two years into surf life saving activities around Australia.

More than $3 million would be invested into the Water and Snow Safety Program, helping surf life saving clubs access up to $10,000 per year to purchase or replace patrol equipment.

This includes rescue boards, life jackets, manikins, inflatable rescue boats, all-terrain vehicles, defibrillators and medical supplies.

Some $6.6 million would also be invested over two years to provide vocational training to surf life saving volunteers.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the funding was on top of $21 million already allotted over the next three years for the Water and Snow Safety Program.

"This additional funding will ensure our local clubs will have the ability to purchase vital equipment and medical supplies that they need to keep Australians safe on our beaches," Mr Morrison said.

There were 248 drownings in Australia in 2019-20, more than half of which in coastal areas.

Surf Life Saving Australia said in a statement on Saturday they welcomed the additional funding.

"(This) goes directly to surf life saving clubs to help volunteers improve their ability to perform rescues and will also provide additional water safety to help protect beach visitors," President Graham Ford said.

"The boost in funding from the federal government comes at a vital time where we have unfortunately seen a tragic number of summer coastal drowning deaths."