Mr HART (Burleigh—LNP) (10.00 pm): Like the honourable minister who spoke before me, I also
would like to speak about my local community and, in particular, the inspirational work conducted by hundreds of surf-lifesaving volunteers in the Burleigh electorate as well as thousands more throughout Queensland.
Burleigh is renowned the world over for its beaches and its surf culture, and surf-lifesaving is instrumental to this movement. The Burleigh electorate alone is home to numerous surf clubs including Palm Beach, Pacific—my own surf club—Tallebudgera, Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park, North Burleigh and Miami surf clubs. These clubs and the active volunteers that make them tick are pivotal to keeping our iconic beaches safe.
Surf Life Saving Queensland’s six branches and 59 surf-lifesaving clubs throughout Queensland now comprise close to 36,000 dedicated individuals. If honourable members thought the footy season was a long patrol season, just be aware that surf-lifesaving patrols run from the early spring weeks in September through to the following May of each year—a very long season.
I can tell honourable members that by the end of the season, the water is getting very cold. To highlight the value and importance of the work that surf-lifesaving volunteers conduct, I can inform honourable members that during the 2011-12 period for the Gold Coast there were 799 rescues, 22,547 preventive actions and 1,759 first aid treatments performed. The figures across Queensland for the same period saw 2,866 rescues, 346-odd thousand preventive actions and over 10,000 first aid treatments performed. This service means that people can have confidence in going to the beach and knowing they can enjoy the surf safely.
Of course, the work of Surf Life Saving Queensland extends much further than the beach; it extends right into the bush heart of Queensland through the Surf Life Saving Queensland Bush to Beach program.
Almost 10,000 students across 74 schools participate in that program each year. This education will give our children a head start in water and beach safety. It will also mean that visitors to Burleigh from neighbouring inland electorates will know about the potential risks involved.
If there is one thing I would like members in this place to take away from my speech tonight it is that you need to swim between the flags.
Please remember that if the lifesavers cannot see you, they cannot save you.