Sunshine Coast Council will partner with Surf Life Saving Queensland to transfer its lifeguard service to Australian Lifeguard Service, the paid arm of SLSQ, in a move which will deliver long-term benefits to both lifeguard staff and our beach-going communities.
At its Ordinary Meeting yesterday, council voted to contract SLSQ – a leader in the aquatic safety and lifeguard services industry – to provide paid lifeguard services across Sunshine Coast beaches.
The decision will see the continuation of the high standard of safety services offered at our beaches while improving the career prospects of council’s employed lifeguards.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the move will not reduce or change the current level of safety at our patrolled beaches and will result in a better value service over the long term.
“Council’s decision was based on the results of a recent review into council’s lifeguard services that found council would benefit from partnering with an industry expert and taking beach safety to the next level,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“SLSQ’s lifeguard service has a reputation across Australia as a leader in the aquatic safety and lifeguard services industry.
“It also has state-of-the-art communication and rescue equipment, which council currently relies on as part of its lifeguard service.
“Yesterday’s decision acknowledged this. It also acknowledges that while our lifeguards do a fantastic job – and have done so for many years by working in partnership with SLSQ – that Council is limited in its capacity to grow the service in-line with growing community need and without ongoing and increasing injections of resources.
“There is no doubt that locals and visitors to our beaches, and our lifeguards themselves – would be best served by a beach safety and awareness program provided by the one service.
“We are looking forward to working in partnership with SLSQ to begin the transfer of what is considered a vital service to our Sunshine Coast community.
‘I would like to emphasise that the transition is conditional on all of our professional lifeguards being given the opportunity to take up the option of moving over to SLSQ and the maintenance of all existing services at Sunshine Coast beaches, including the number of beaches patrolled, the number of paid lifeguards allocated to patrols and the hours of patrol, at current levels.
“This new arrangement will bring together two great services in a seamless manner and which will provide extensive ongoing benefits to both the community and council-employed lifeguards.”
The transition of council’s lifeguard services to the new provider is expected to be completed before the start of the busy summer holiday season.
ALS is a fully integrated national lifeguard service and a division of SLSQ. SLSQ currently provides paid lifeguard services to 15 local authorities in Queensland at 52 beaches along the Queensland coastline.