VOLUNTEERS at 21 surf life saving clubs across the northern beaches will soon have an enhanced ability to keep people safe at the beach, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.
During a visit to Collaroy Beach on Saturday morning, the PM announced a multi-million boost to Surf Life Saving Australia to assist with training and equipment needs.
"Today we're announcing a further $9.7 million and that is going to two very important parts of what our surf life saving community does," he said.
The funds funds will be split between a $3.1m investment in gear and equipment, with $6.6m across two years for vocational education and training (VET) for volunteers.
"This gear is very important and clubs will be able to access up to $10,000 in getting the gear they need to keep you and your family safe at the beach," Mr Morrison said.
You want to know that they've been as trained as best as they possibly can to assist you if you find yourself or your family members in trouble.Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Until now, surf clubs have been able access up to $5000 a year, with the $10,000 cap in place for the next two years. The funds can be used to purchase new or replacement patrol equipment such as rescue boards, life jackets, rescue manikins, inflatable rescue boats, all-terrain vehicles, defibrillators, and first aid and medical supplies.
"We're investing even more in the training," Mr Morrison said. "When you see those men and women out there in the red and yellow of course you want to know that they've been as trained as best as they possibly can to assist you if you find yourself or your family members in trouble.
"The time that goes into training in club houses like this is even more often that what goes into standing on that beach each day when they're on patrol."
There have already been more than 160 rescues and one drowning on the northern beaches so far this summer, with five beaches closed due to sharks.
Mr Morrison praised local surf life saving volunteers for the time they've put in at beaches to keep them open during the recent COVID lockdowns.
"During COVID it's been community groups like this that have got us through to where we are now," he said.
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