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Monday, 29 May 2006
Page: 92

Mr GEORGANAS (9:10 PM) —On Saturday, 27 May, I was honoured to be invited to the annual awards of the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club at their new premises on the Glenelg foreshore. I was very thankful for their kind invitation to attend the awards last Saturday evening. It was very special for me to be involved, even if only in a small way, in the activities of the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club and to present some of the awards on the night, together with the Mayor of Holdfast Bay, Mr Ken Rolland, and the state member for Morphett, Mr Duncan McFetridge.

It was a very special and important night as it was the first award dinner in the club’s brand new premises—a magnificent building with great facilities and overlooking the Glenelg beach on the former site of Magic Mountain. Members from South Australia would all be familiar with Magic Mountain. The Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club clearly deserves this great new building, these fantastic premises, for the magnificent work it has provided to the community and for the number of lives it has saved over the years at Glenelg beach.

The club is currently growing, with over 400 members, and plays a significant role in our beachside suburbs. Glenelg is one of South Australia’s busiest beaches, attracting beach-goers from all over the state. The importance of the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club cannot be overemphasised. In fact, the efforts of surf-lifesaving clubs Australia-wide in rescuing people have been first class, as has been their provision of first aid assistance to thousands of people over the years.

The Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club has created a sense of belonging for people in the area. It gives them an opportunity to connect with and to care about each other. Clubs like the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club get young people involved, out of their homes and active in the community and, in doing so, create a sense of community. This is what gives an area like Glenelg its identity and makes the people in the area proud to be part of the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club. At the same time, the club is doing great work for the South Australian community at large by saving many lives. I take this opportunity to congratulate the president of the Glenelg club, Mr Shane Daw, and all its committee members on their fantastic work and contribution to the community.

I also take this opportunity to note with concern and sadness the large number of drowning deaths on beaches around Australia over the years. No doubt the number of drowning deaths would have been much greater if not for surf-lifesaving clubs around Australia, like that of Glenelg, and their members. Nevertheless, it is imperative that we all redouble our efforts to reduce this unnecessary and entirely preventable loss of life.

I am pleased to see that next year we will be celebrating the Year of the Surf Lifesaver to promote the excellent work that surf-lifesaving clubs do and have been doing for the Australian public for many years. I look forward to assisting all the surf-lifesaving clubs by getting involved in my electorate in the promotion of this event. I would encourage all other honourable members who have a coast as a boundary to their electorates to also get involved in any way that they can in assisting the promotion of next year’s Year of the Surf Lifesaver. I will certainly be involved in some way with four major surf-lifesaving clubs in the electorate of Hindmarsh. Somerton, Glenelg, West Beach, Henley Beach, Grange and Semaphore are all within my electorate. I would like to encourage even those members whose electorates are landlocked to get involved with the Year of the Surf Lifesaver next year, as they too will have constituents who visit beaches and who may need the assistance of surf lifesavers one day.

Today I had the honour and pleasure to meet with Mr Paul Bruce, the National Project Manager for the Year of the Surf Lifesaver. Mr Bruce briefed me on what is being proposed for next year’s Year of the Surf Lifesaver. Some of the events sound very exciting, such as gala dinners to be held in every capital city, a national history book to be launched by the Governor-General, an Australia Day presence of surf lifesavers across the country and many more events on Australia’s coasts. Once again, I congratulate the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club and all surf-lifesaving clubs around Australia on their tremendous work and contribution to our nation.