Surf Lifesaving in Boothby

14 Sep 2016 speechparliament

The wonderful surf club members at Seacliff, Somerton and Brighton keep thousands of beach users safe each year. They teach their young club members the importance of exercise, teamwork and serving our community, and they do this in their own time, week in, week out, as volunteers.

Today I am proud to congratulate the Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club and President Andrew Chandler on being named the 2016 Club of the Year at the Surf Life Saving SA awards of excellence. This honour is well deserved. Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club has over 550 members, including approximately 220 juniors. More than 100 patrolling members spend many thousands of patrol hours on the beach during the season, ensuring the public enjoy a safe coastal experience. It is these patrol members who make the incredible Beach Access For All program possible.

The Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club pioneered the Beach Access For All program along with my state colleague, the member for Bright David Speirs MP. Beach Access For All has enabled disability and wheelchair access on the beach. Rolling out the beach for all access mat has brought indescribable joy to individuals and families who have not been on the beach for years, if ever. I commend the Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club volunteers for the effort they put into rolling out the mat each weekend throughout summer.

I am proud that the Turnbull liberal government is doing everything we can to make this process easier for them and to help keep these wonderful volunteers and beach users safe. Currently the Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club volunteers are operating out of a shipping container on the beach. I worked hard to secure $150,000 to build a new surf lifesaving tower for storage to help keep our volunteers and beach users safe. It was a great honour to have the Minister for Foreign Affairs—a former South Australian of whom we are all so proud—make this announcement. I am also proud that the Seacliff, Brighton and Somerton Surf Life Saving Clubs will benefit from a grant for solar panels to help lower the skyrocketing costs of electricity in South Australia. Senator David Fawcett, a person who has dedicated his career to community service, was with me to let the clubs know this good news, which will free up their fundraising efforts for other purposes like equipment and helping those in need.

Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club, for example, recently held a curry night for Coogee to raise funds for the Coogee surf club, which was badly damaged in a storm. David Speirs MP and I attended what was a great fun evening for a good cause. I congratulate President Andrew Chandler and all the members of the Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club on the wonderful volunteer work they do and I look forward to working with them for the good of our community.