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Surf life savers win funding fight

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The State Government this morning announced it would reinstate the $140,000 that was cut from Surf Life Saving SA’s budget last year, as well as provide additional funding for the organisation.

The funding boost raises SLS SA’s budget from $800,000 per year to $2 million. The pledge will cost the state budget an additional $5.6 million over the next four years, the Government says.

The funding cuts by the Weatherill Government had put Surf Life Saving SA’s operations in jeopardy with the organisation unable to fund the usual helicopter patrols on South Australian beaches.

The $140,000 cut from the helicopter shark patrols had reduced flying hours from 300 to 210 over the busy summer period.

State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall met with the Surf Life Saving SA officials in December last year to discuss funding concerns and pledged to reinstate the $140,000 to provide “full helicopter services”.

Surf Life Saving SA has more than 8500 members in a number of seaside electorates, including two electorates in key marginal seats.

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