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Minister Kemp drowning in a sea of unkept promises.

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Senator Kate Lundy

Senator for the Australian Capital Territory Shadow Minister for the Arts, Sport, and Information Technology


Minister Kemp Drowning in a Sea of Unkept Promises

The 150% hike in Surf Life Saving Australia’s (SLSA) public liability insurance premium this year represents another of Sport Minister Kemp’s failed promises.

In August this year Senator Kemp told the Surf Lifesaving Australia National Conference that he was “extremely concerned about the potential impact of the public-liability insurance crisis in the sport sector”.

In the Minister’s view it would be “a disaster if this problem adversely affected the services surf lifesavers have rendered to the community for almost a century”.

Minister Kemp assured the conference that there was no cause for alarm, however, as the Commonwealth had taken the lead in trying to address these problems. Given the massive jump in SLSA’s insurance premium, I suggest the Minister should have tried a little harder.

Since January of last year I have called on the Howard Government to address the rising cost of public liability insurance in the sport and recreation sector. To date nothing has been done, with the result that the concerns raised two years ago are becoming a reality. Sport and recreation organisations are struggling to provide services due to increasing liability costs.

For an organisation like Surf Life Saving, cuts in services quite simply equate to loss of lives through increased drownings.

Minister Kemp vowed to keep a close eye on this issue and to personally argue Surf Life Saving’s case at the Federal level. He has clearly had no success in this important task.

Unfortunately for sport in Australia, Prime Minister Howard’s Cabinet reshuffle yesterday failed to remove one joker from the pack.

Media contact: Adina Cirson - (02) 6277 3334 or 0418 488 295