South Melbourne Life Saving Club

Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield) — I rise to raise a matter for the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. The action I seek is for the minister to visit with me the South Melbourne Life Saving Club and meet with the president, Nick Bass, the club captain, Alison Porter, and any other members, and also with the Liberal candidate for Albert Park, Shannon Eeles, to look at the club and at some of the options available to assist that club into the future.

This is a great club. It was first formed in 1876 as a swimming club and since then has had many transitions — it was a sea bath club in 1913 and in 1927 the lifesaving club was founded. The members who are part of it benefit from a whole range of different activities. They are able to undertake training in both competition and award skills, and part of their training allows them to achieve their bronze medallions. The club also has programs for nippers, cadets and seniors. It has been around, as I say, for a very long time and is a strong club within the area of Albert Park.

The minister visited with me the St Kilda Life Saving Club, which has just received some funding — in fact $1 million — and I had the privilege of going along to its centenary celebrations. The club was very happy to receive $1 million of funding, and along with the $2 million provided by the local council it will ensure that there will be new facilities for the 100‑year‑old St Kilda Life Saving Club. The South Melbourne Life Saving Club is down the road and also has a huge tradition.

I know that the government has invested heavily in Life Saving Victoria, an organisation that does a terrific job in saving lives. It also provides swimming programs for the many people, including from our culturally and linguistically diverse communities. It provides training to young people and offers them opportunities to engage in volunteering and support programs. Life Saving Victoria also offers first aid courses and the like.

The South Melbourne Life Saving Club is very important to the electorate. I know Shannon Eeles has been working very hard as a candidate for Albert Park. She is very committed to serving in that community that was neglected during 11 years of Labor. I am sure the St Kilda Life Saving Club would not have received its upgrade under the Labor government. When she is the new member for Albert Park after the election in November we will be able to ensure that other clubs in the area will also be supported. This is an opportunity for the minister to visit the South Melbourne Life Saving Club with me and Shannon Eeles, to meet with club members, to learn firsthand about what the club needs and to see what can be done to support this club into the future.

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