SURF LIFESAVERS BETTER PREPARED AFTER OPENING OF STATE OPERATIONS CENTRE

Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) will be better prepared for the upcoming season after the official opening of the new state-of-the-art State Operations Centre today.

The construction of the centre, funded by the NSW Government, ensures the state’s volunteer surf lifesavers are properly supported to patrol beaches and better equipped to respond to critical incidents and COVID-19 social distancing requirements this season.

Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott joined SLSNSW President George Shales OAM and CEO Steven Pearce AFSM to officially open the new facility at the Surf Life Saving NSW Headquarters in Belrose today.

“This facility will reduce response times, improve coordination between agencies and most importantly help keep everyone safe on our waterways,” Mr Elliott said.

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“This $550,000 project, delivered on time and on budget as part of a $16 million investment into Surf Life Saving NSW over four years, will provide greater coastal surveillance and improved asset coordination.”

“The 20,000 active surf lifesavers in NSW play an important role responding to emergencies and it is pleasing that they will now have the most up to date facility to assist them,” Mr Elliott said.

The State Operations Centre will support beach patrols and emergency management at 129 Surf Life Saving Clubs across the State.

SLSNSW CEO Steve Pearce said with more people expected on the coastline this summer, this new facility will be an important asset to responding to any emergencies.

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“With near record drownings last summer and a significant increase in boating fatalities, it’s vital that our lifesavers have the best technology available to help save lives on the water,” Mr Pearce said.

SLSNSW President George Shales said Surf Lifesavers will play a pivotal role in coordinating COVID-19 response over the summer months and the new State Operations Centre will be crucial in monitoring beach attendance.

“With many more people expected to head to the coast this summer, we want to send a strong message to all beachgoers to respect the advice and direction of surf lifesavers and lifeguards – about beach safety social distancing requirements,” Mr Shales said.

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The Surf Life Saving summer patrol season officially begins on Saturday 26 September.