Published: Jun 5, 2012 09:30:02 AM Updated: Jul 11, 2012 11:00:59 AM
Minister for Sport Kate Lundy recently attended the dinner of the seventh Australian Water Safety Conference in Sydney and paid tribute to the efforts water safety organisations play in helping to prevent incidents of drowning in Australia.
Speaking at the conference dinner, Senator Lundy congratulated the Australian Water Safety Council on its work to develop a new water safety strategy which aims to halve the number of drowning deaths in Australia by 2020.
“Through the right mix of educational and regulatory initiatives we can reach this target and help spare many Australians the tragedy of losing a loved one in a drowning accident,” Senator Lundy said.
“The Australian community must remain vigilant which is why water safety and education programs that address pool, beach and inland waterways safety are so crucial. Each incident of drowning is one too many.
“The Australian Water Safety Conference is examining the key factors and trends in relation to drownings in Australia and identifying the priority areas where action needs to be taken.
“This year new ground has been broken in international cooperation to fight drowning and promote water safety, with the Australian Water Safety Council and Water Safety Japan signing a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in this critical area.”
Senator Lundy said the Gillard Government was committed to improving water safety awareness and has allocated approximately $34 million to water safety over the five years from 2011?12 to 2015?16.
“This funding underpins the continued operation of major Water Safety Organisations such as Surf Life Saving Australia, the Royal Life Saving Society Australia and AUSTSWIM,” Senator Lundy said.
The Government is also funding new projects in target areas where we know we can improve water safety, including:
“Australians’ love of swimming is a wonderful aspect of our culture and the Gillard Government is proud to support initiatives that make our beaches, swimming pools and waterways safer,” Senator Lundy said.
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