Federal Member for Curtin Julie Bishop today welcomed the latest grants from the Commonwealth’s Beach Safety Equipment Fund which will see $5000 allocated to surf lifesaving clubs located in Curtin.

The Australian Government is providing $25,000 over five years to the City of Perth, Cottesloe, North Cottesloe, Floreat, Swanbourne-Nedlands and Scarboro Surf Lifesaving Clubs, to purchase essential rescue equipment, first aid and medical supplies.

Ms Bishop visited North Cottesloe Surf Lifesaving Club this morning, when Club President Chris Shellabear confirmed the funds will be used to purchase new inflatable rescue boards.

“As the Federal Member of a coastal electorate, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of the patrols provided by surf lifesaving clubs,” Ms Bishop said.

“The latest allocation from the Beach Safety Equipment Fund gives me the opportunity to thank our fantastic local lifesavers for the wonderful role they perform in keeping local residents and visitors to our beaches safe over summer.”

A recent National Coastal Safety Report found four in 10 coastal drowning deaths occurred more than five kilometres from a surf lifesaving club – only 45 per cent of people are estimated to swim at patrolled beaches during patrol hours – and three-quarters of people quizzed could not identify a hazardous rip current.

“We should not leave the entire responsibility for our water safety with our surf lifesavers – they are an indispensable last line of defence, but we all must take personal responsibility when entering the water,” Ms Bishop said.