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Queensland Surf Lifesavers role in future disasters to be enshrined in legislation

Queensland Surf Lifesavers role in future disasters to be enshrined in legislation
August 24, 2011

Surf Life Saving Queensland will become the first surf life saving organisation in Australia to be formally recognised in disaster management legislation.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced the move yesterday (Tuesday 23rd August) as part of the State Government's response to the flood inquiry.

Premier Bligh explained "our surf lifesavers provided great assistance during the floods and cyclone and their organisation will now sit at the table as a member of the State Disaster Management Group.

"We will amend disaster management legislation to formalise the role and involvement of SLSQ in the State Disaster Management Group before the start of the next wet season.

"We will also develop an agreement to integrate surf lifesavers' capabilities into Queensland's disaster management framework.

"During the floods surf lifesavers sent about 30 rubber duckies and rescue crews to Brisbane.

"More than 230 members assisted with the emergency response.

"SLSQ's helicopter was also directly responsible for rescuing seven people from the Lockyer Valley as well as conducting 23 searches in the area."

Surf Life Saving Queensland's operations present significant opportunities for partnership including two helicopters, water craft including inflatable rescue boats and rescue jet skis, all-terrain and 4WD vehicles, a range of lifesaving equipment and 35,000 volunteers.

The use of these facilities will supplement, not replace, the need for additional emergency services and equipment to support the implementation of the Commission's recommendations.

While surf lifesavers will always remain focused on Queensland beaches, their emergency response trained groups stationed across the state will provide considerable assistance during disaster events.

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