The LNP has pledged $3 million for Surf Life Saving Queensland to ensure the volunteers in red and yellow can keep beachgoers safe this summer.
The commitment comes after the Palaszczuk Labor Government failed to negotiate a funding agreement with Surf Life Saving for the full financial year.
This will take the total funding for Surf Life Saving Queensland this year to $6.2 million, plus $4.5 million worth of direct investment in local surf clubs and equipment.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the much-needed funding injection would secure the organisation’s finances so its volunteers could continue to patrol our beaches throughout the summer months.
“Labor is risking the lives of thousands of Queenslanders by failing to give Surf Life Saving Queensland the certainty it needs,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Labor have been reckless and sneaky by only committing to funding the SLSQ to the 31st of December which is half way through this season.
“The volunteer organisation relies heavily on fundraising activities, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.
“This Queensland icon should have been able to rely on their government for support, but they’ve been hung out to dry by Labor.
“It would be a disaster if Labor cuts off funding for Surf Life Saving in the middle of summer when millions of Queenslanders head to the beach.
“We believe in supporting local surf lifesaving clubs because they protect the public and bring our communities together.
“An LNP Government will give Surf Life Saving Queensland the funds they need to continue their work through the peak summer period.
“We will also deliver a budget in the first 100 days of forming government and ensure Surf Lifesaving Queensland has a sustainable, multi-year funding agreement.”
Surf Life Saving Queensland’s current funding agreement expires on 31 December 2020.
LNP Shadow Minister for Volunteers Lachlan Millar said because Labor didn’t have a budget, organisations like Surf Life Saving Queensland had no certainty.
“Labor has no plan and no budget, and that means volunteer community organisations like Surf Life Saving Queensland have zero certainty about their future,” Mr Millar said.
“The funding uncertainty makes it really hard for volunteers to keep supporting their communities.
“The way Labor is treating our volunteers in red and yellow is shameful.
“This is another example of Labor’s wrong priorities.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk spent more than half a million dollars’ worth taxpayers’ money on coronavirus polling but can’t give Surf Life Saving Queensland funding certainty.
“Surf lifesaving clubs are the heart and soul of communities up and down Queensland’s coast.
“Unlike Labor, the LNP respects Surf Life Saving Queensland and will support their mission to patrol our beaches and keep people safe in the water.
“The LNP will step up and provide the funds our amazing surf lifesaving volunteers need to keep doing their job.”