Lifeguards seek 'secret' document

Sunshine Coast lifeguards hit Mooloolaba Beach on Tuesday for a meeting and a brisk run.
Sunshine Coast lifeguards hit Mooloolaba Beach on Tuesday for a meeting and a brisk run. Cade Mooney

LIFEGUARDS will ask the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission today to order the council to provide them with a copy of the "secret review" that led to it offloading responsibility for beach safety.

The council has refused to release the document following the decision it made behind closed doors on August 23.

The lifeguards will seek an injunction from the commission against the council taking any further action before they have had time to properly review the document and seek further direction.

The Daily reported on Saturday that the publicly available Lifeguard Service Plan 2012-15 showed that council had loaded into the lifeguard budget administration costs amounting to $14,000 for each of the 100 full, permanent part-time and casual lifeguards in its employ.

Council's lifeguards, through their union advocate, will argue that due process was not followed because there had been no consultation with them before the decision to relocate the service to the Australian Lifeguard Service, a commercial arm of Surf Life Saving Queensland.

They will seek an order from the commissioner that council cease any action on that decision until it is fully reviewed.

"I believe we have a strong case in relation to outsourcing," AWU representative Wally Boulton said.

"The council must meet certain requirements to do that. It is open to the commission to find that council acted in an illegal way which may require the process to restart.

"There was a definite lack of consultation."

Mr Boulton said he only received notice on August 22 that a vote to hand the service to Surf Life Saving Queensland would be taken the next day.

Lifeguards were advised late on August 23 to attend a meeting the next morning where they were advised of the outcome.

By contrast SLSQ received an invitation on August 16 to address the August 23 meeting.

It would not reveal when it first discussed with council a proposal that it assume control of the 46-year lifeguard service.

Mr Boulton said attempts by council to engage lifeguards in discussion about future workplace conditions under the Australian Lifeguard Service were premature.

He said ALS lifeguards worked for an inferior hourly rate and received no overtime or shift penalties.

"This has not been done the right way," Mr Boulton said.

"Councillors haven't received all the information."

More than 60 lifeguards met on Mooloolaba Beach yesterday morning to underscore their resolve.

An online petition calling for a review approached 3000 signatures yesterday.



Should the council retain control of the Sunshine Coast Lifeguard Service?

This poll ended on 06 September 2012.

Current Results







This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Sunshine Coast Life Guards join together on Mooloolaba beach for a meeting.
Sunshine Coast Life Guards join together on Mooloolaba beach for a meeting. Cade Mooney

Topics:  employment lifeguards petition sunshine coast regional council surf life saving

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