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New report shows Surf Life Saving worth $6.5 billion annually to Australian community

New report shows Surf Life Saving worth $6.5 billion annually to Australian community
September 1, 2020

A new report by Deloitte Access Economics – ‘Between the red and yellow flags: The social and economic value of Surf Life Saving Australia’ shows that Surf Life Saving Australia’s (SLSA) services to the community and its members are valued at an estimated $6.5 billion per year to the Australian economy.

The Deloitte report estimates that the absence of surf lifesaving services would result in an additional 1,300 coastal deaths and 800 critical injuries every year

The report highlights that “the services and cooperation of Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) around the country - both now and in the future - show for every $1 invested into SLSA, a return of $20 is achieved.”

SLSA President Graham Ford said the report demonstrated the social and economic value volunteer surf lifesavers and Australian Lifeguard Services lifeguards provide to the Australian community.

Ford advised “with 300 million beach goers visiting the Australian coastline every year, our surf lifesavers and lifeguards are vitally important, last season alone performing 10,000 rescues.”

For more than 110 years, Surf Life Saving has played an important role and is more than just a rescue organisation. Surf Life Saving services have grown over the decades to provide strong social and economic value to the Australian community.

Ford adds “we provide education and training to everyday Australians, help keep people physically active, encourage and promote volunteerism and deliver real social value to local communities across the country.

“The report also identified three additional benefits SLSA provides to our communities that couldn’t be quantified but we know are so important, including improved mental health, providing positive pathways for young people as well as water safety for children.

“As our country navigates through COVID-19, our sense of community and connecting with our great coastal environment will become even more important.

“Surf Life Saving Clubs are not only important for our 170,000 members, but they are at the centre of local communities and are a hub for all those enjoying our beaches.”

SLSA’s National Coastal Safety Report demonstrates the need for increased water safety services, with an average of 110 coastal drowning deaths in Australia every year for the past 15 years.

The Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency David Hurley, said he was proud to serve as Patron of Surf Life Saving Australia and noted “Surf Life Saving Australia provides a vital and, as this report shows, valuable service. In addition to helping reduce the number of drownings and teaching water safety skills, Surf Life Saving clubs are part of our nation’s cultural landscape. They bring people together and help instil the value of selfless service in emerging leaders.”

Federal Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck said the Australian Government is a proud supporter of Surf Life Saving Australia.

Minister Colbeck commented “the Deloitte report clearly articulates the critical role Surf Life Savers play to prevent more than a thousand avoidable and preventable deaths at Australian beaches.

“Through our Water and Snow Safety Program, we have invested more than $20 million to support the efforts of Surf Life Saving Australia, which in turn supports communities around our nation.

“I thank the vast volunteer base for a commitment to keeping Australians and international visitors safe on our beaches.

Created in 1907, SLSA has grown to now include:

●          314 Surf Life Saving Clubs

●          176,000 volunteer members;

●          Perform around 10,000 rescues every year

●          Undertakes 1.5million preventative actions every year

●          Volunteers contribute 1.3million hours patrolling

●          Operate eight Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Services;

●          Conducts public safety campaigns targeting areas known for rip currents and rock fishing to try to ensure that those who use our beaches know how to stay out of danger.

Click here to access the full Deloitte report.  

All images courtesy of Surf Life Saving Australia

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27th January 2020 - Surf Life Saving NSW trials free Beach Wi-Fi technology

9th December 2019 - Surf Life Saving NSW report identifies trends and areas of concern for the 2019/20 Summer

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