13 May 2019



Dr Marjorie O’Neill, Member for Coogee, is calling on the NSW Liberal Government to walk back their withdrawal of $1.3 million of funding from Surf Life Saving NSW, following outcry from the organisation.

The $1.3 million has been provided to the organisation since 2011 in the form of the Enhanced Rescue Funding Grant. This funding is crucial to the organisation, and supports three key operational areas:

- The digital radio network, that all 129 surf clubs and council lifeguarding services are reliant on
- The SLSNSW State Operations Centre, which coordinates responses to all drownings and other coastal emergencies across NSW
- Lifesaving equipment grants that are used for the purchase of crucial lifesaving equipment

The withdrawal of this funding could prove disastrous to SLSNSW, leading to either the degradation of the digital radio network, the closure of the State Operations Centre, and the cessation of the Lifesaving Equipment Grants, or the cancelling of a number of upgrades that were promised by the Premier in December 2018.

Quotes attributable to Marjorie O’Neill MP:

“The Eastern Suburbs have some of the busiest beaches in Sydney, and in Australia. As a local surf life saver, I know exactly how crucial this funding is, and the Liberal’s decision to withdraw this money will have a serious effect on Surf Life Saving NSW”

“This last summer has seen record numbers of drownings across Australia, including in the electorate of Coogee, and now the NSW Liberal Government is proposing to cut $1.3 million from our surf life savers”

“If the government can find hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for blowouts on the Light Rail, then why can’t they find $1.3 million to keep beachgoers safe?”