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Praise for lifesavers at LSV Awards of Excellence

The commitment and dedication of Victoria’s lifesavers has been applauded with the presentation of more than 30 awards at Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV) Awards of Excellence.

Representing the Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells, Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services David Southwick paid tribute to Victoria’s lifesavers and all those involved in water safety.

“The Napthine Government congratulates all lifesavers on their commitment and dedication to community protection around our beaches and waterways,” Mr Southwick said.

“Surf Life Saving Clubs provide volunteer patrols at more than 50 Victorian beaches each summer.

“Each year, volunteer lifesavers dedicate more than 150,000 hours to patrolling Victorian beaches at a value of $4.7 million to the Victorian community, which is an incredible effort.”

The LSV Awards of Excellence are held each year at the conclusion of the summer lifesaving season.

Mr Southwick presented the major awards including Outstanding Achievement of the Year, Life Saving Victoria Volunteer of the Year (Graeme Long Memorial Medal), Life Saving Victoria Lifesaver of the Year (John Wishart Memorial Medal) and Life Saving Victoria Club of the Year.

“The Coalition Government has a strong commitment to Life Saving Victoria and its more than 28,000 hardworking members,” Mr Southwick said.

“As a show of this commitment the Coalition Government recently announced more than $700,000 in grants to lifesaving clubs across Victoria as part of the 2014-15 Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP).

“Under the program, the Coalition Government supports clubs to purchase new equipment, vehicles and minor upgrades to amenities.

“This means new Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs), rescue and training equipment for many clubs around the state.”

“This is in addition to a statewide initiative under the 2013-14 VESEP which delivered $50,000 to provide every club in Victoria with new life jackets.”

“In recognition of the significant contribution by emergency service volunteers, since 2010 the Coalition Government has invested more than $48 million in the VESEP Program.”

Mr Southwick said the Coalition Government has also committed $1 million to support the redevelopment of Mordialloc Life Saving Club and a further $1 million to redevelop St Kilda Life Saving Club.

The government is also contributing $900,000 to the redevelopment of the Mt Martha Life Saving Club and a further $57,100 through the VESEP program.

“This comes after new state-of-the-art clubs were opened at Carrum and Fairhaven,” Mr Southwick said.

Mr Southwick said the Coalition Government will continue to support lifesavers in Victoria with the tools and equipment to do perform their job.”

“The Coalition Government has always placed a high priority on our volunteers who are the backbone of our emergency response and generously give their time responding to needs of others in emergencies,” Mr Southwick said.

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