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Wednesday, 23 May 1973
Page: 2566

Mr WENTWORTH (MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Mr Speaker, I seem to have drawn the short straw again. I am delighted to support the matter that has been raised by the honourable member for Warringah (Mr MacKellar) and supported by the honourable member for Phillip (Mr Riordan). The honourable member for Phillip said, I think rightly, that in Australia we have the best beaches in the world. People who have not been abroad and seen other beaches may not always realise how true this is. Surfing and surf life saving are part of the Australian way of life and we hope that they will be even more a part of it. When one thinks of the way in which we talk of improving the quality of life and the enjoyment of life, surfing must surely play a great part in it. Especially do I say this of the city of Sydney which is situated on the beaches. I suppose that my electorate of Mackellar would have more surfing beaches in it than any other electorate in the world. I think that there are as many as 14 life saving clubs in my electorate.

I want to be practical about this. The question of costs comes into this matter. Surfing requires surf life saving, and surf life saving requires facilities. This can be an expensive matter. I believe that in the United States of America as much as $2m or $3m a year is spent on a single beach in patrols and in providing the services which our surf life savers give free. If only from the point of view of economy, it is well that they should be supported. I think it was in 1951 that the Commonwealth Government first supported life saving clubs. I was associated with the move to get that support. The $10,000 a year which was given has grown to $34,000 a year but this is far from sufficient. One thinks not only of the support which must be given to the surf life saving clubs as such but also to the scheme which has been advanced by the clubs for the construction of what they call surf pavilions which will be for the use not only of the clubs but also of the people who patronise the beaches. Mr Speaker, once more, goodnight.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! It being 11 o'clock, the House stands adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow. I will be pleased to see you again.

Mouse adjourned at 11 p.m.

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