Five-year push to
A $15 million, five-year support package for Australia’s lifesavers and swimming teachers is aimed at preventing drowning deaths.
The Australian Government funding will include $8 million to support the work of surf lifesaving clubs and their members across Australia; $4 million to Royal Life Saving Society - Australia to develop a River Drowning Black Spot Identification Program and expand the successful Swim and Survive lessons to disadvantaged, disabled and Indigenous children; $2 million to Surf Life Saving Australia’s Beach Drowning Black Spot reduction program to prevent drowning in high risk areas where the population is projected to increase, and $1 million to AUSTSWIM.
Minister for Sport, Peter Dutton said the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2013 revealed a steady increase in drownings involving most age groups.
The report estimates that 291 people accidentally drowned in Australia between July 2012 and June 2013, an increase of 15 deaths (or 5 per cent) from 2011-12.
“It shows that far too many people are still losing their lives in inland waterways, swimming pools and beaches across Australia every year,” Mr Dutton said.
“Australia is a nation of people who love the water, and many of our international visitors are drawn here because of our beautiful waterways. However, water can be very deadly, particularly to inexperienced swimmers and children.”
He said the Government’s investment would support the work of lifesavers to upgrade their equipment and help them to continue saving thousands of lives every year.
“The funding will also support AUSTSWIM instructors and water safety staff to teach disadvantaged Australians how to swim and be safe in the water,” Mr Dutton said.
Edition 383, 15 October 2013