Labor must revive life-saving rescue boat plan

Labor must revive life-saving rescue boat plan

Posted on: 11 January 2023

As huge crowds converge on our coastlines over summer – and a number of recent high profile shark sightings – the Opposition is calling on Peter Malinauskas to fund two new jet rescue boats for Surf Life Saving South Australia (SLSSA) volunteers.

The former Liberal Government pledged $700,000 to replace two older vessels built in 2001 and 2012, but the scheme was cruelly ditched by Labor.

With this summer expected to be one of our busiest for visiting international tourists since COVID-19, Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey said it’s crucial we increase water safety measures for beachgoers.

“It’s vital our hardworking Surf Life Saving volunteers are properly resourced to save lives out on the water and these jet rescue boats are such an important tool in an emergency,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“Jet boat crews perform surveillance patrols and rescue missions right across the state, supporting volunteer beach patrols throughout the busy summer period, adding an increased layer of protection.

“These crews respond to emergency callouts at any hour of the day or night and work in tandem with SA Police and our other emergency service agencies.

“SLSSA’s goal is for zero preventable deaths in South Australian waters. We believe these new jet rescue boats would certainly help.”

Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Adrian Pederick said the former Liberal Government has a proud legacy when it comes to supporting our surf life savers.

“Last year, the former Liberal Government invested a huge $12.9 million in Surf Life Saving South Australia, which helped fund key club redevelopments at Whyalla, Lonsdale, Robe and Moana,” Mr Pederick said.

“We also delivered on our commitment to provide Shark Spotting Drones and completed upgrades for clubs at Semaphore, Chiton Rocks, Aldinga, Goolwa and Port Elliot.

“South Australians and visitors to our great state love to get out and enjoy our coastline - particularly over summer - so it’s critical our surf volunteers have the right tools in their arsenal to perform their duties and save lives.”