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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 2863

Mr WALLACE (Fisher) (10:43): I am pleased to rise to speak to this motion, which is very near and dear to my heart, as I am a long-term member of Surf Life Saving Queensland. In 2015-16, there were 3,660 rescues conducted by volunteer members of Surf Life Saving Queensland in Queensland waters. To put this in perspective, there were 810,855 preventative actions undertaken by members of Surf Life Saving Queensland. These rescues and preventative actions were undertaken by volunteers, by mums and dads and kids from the age of 14 up; 352,807 volunteer patrol hours were undertaken by members of Surf Life Saving Queensland. These members give up their weekends and their family time to protect members of the public who are swimming in our coastal regions.

These volunteers not only undertake aquatic rescues but have also undertaken almost 21,000 first aid treatments. The number of volunteers who are trained in first aid is almost 16,000. I pay tribute to all those men and women, including those on my own patrol group, ranging from the age of 14 to 65, who volunteer their time week after week. They do it not for money or any form of compensation other than their desire to help their fellow men and women. This is the sort of stuff people who join SLSQ hold near and dear to their hearts.

SLSQ began from humble beginnings. Their first official rescue was recorded on a Queensland beach in 1909. There are now 58 clubs, with more than 30,000 men, women and children, across this state. Since its inception, Surf Life Saving Queensland surf lifesavers and lifeguards have directly saved the lives of more than 135,000 people through in-water rescues, and they have educated in excess of 10 million people about surf and aquatic safety through targeted and grassroots community awareness programs.

Surf Life Saving Queensland is directly affiliated with and is a part of Surf Life Saving Australia and the International Life Saving Federation. As a not-for-profit, SLSQ relies heavily on community support and donations to continue its vital work both on and off Queensland beaches. Surf Life Saving Queensland is built on one fundamental principle, and that is to save lives. Its organisation encompasses several diverse arms: lifesaving and lifeguard services, community education, membership services, surf sports, fundraising, commercial training, and member training—all supporting that one overarching principle and purpose, and that is to save lives on Queensland beaches. Queensland's main coastline is extensive, and I pay tribute to the men, women and children who continue to protect Queenslanders and Australians all over the country from drowning in surf.