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Thursday, 21 March 2013
Page: 2963

Mr CHESTER (Gippsland) (13:50): I rise—and I am sure it is on behalf of members of both sides of the chamber—to wish the competitors well for this weekend's Victorian Junior Lifesaving Championships, being held in Lorne. Somewhere in excess of 1,000 junior surf lifesavers, or nippers, as we call them, will be competing in Lorne this weekend. From my own perspective, from the seat of Gippsland, we will have youngsters from the Lakes Entrance and Seaspray clubs, who will represent us with distinction over the weekend.

On a separate but related point, there have been three tragic deaths on public beaches in Victoria in the past two weeks. In every case it involved beaches that were not patrolled. I urge people on these last few remaining warm days at the end of the Victorian summer to please heed the warnings and the messages provided by our surf lifesaving movement. Always swim on patrolled beaches and swim between the flags. Never swim alone and certainly do not swim when under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. We have an outstanding service right across our nation with our surf lifesaving movement. The support they provide to beachgoers is extraordinarily important for regional and coastal communities around our nation.

So, in conclusion, I certainly wish all the youngsters well in the Victorian surf-lifesaving championships this weekend but I also thank and commend our surf-lifesaving volunteers from across our nation for the service they have provided for us again this summer.