$15 Million for Peak Water Safety Bodies to Save Lives

The Australian Government will invest $15 million over five years to support the nation’s lifesavers and swimming teachers to prevent drowning deaths.

Page last updated: 10 October 2013

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10 October 2013

The Australian Government will invest $15 million over five years to support the nation’s lifesavers and swimming teachers to prevent drowning deaths, the Minister for Sport, the Hon Peter Dutton, MP, said today.

Speaking at the launch of the latest Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report for 2013 which reveals a steady increase in drownings involving most age groups, Mr Dutton said the funding from the government would 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 programme 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 programme to prevent drowning in high risk areas where the population is projected to increase, and
  • $1 million to AUSTSWIM to give more disadvantaged people access to accredited swimming and water safety teachers.
Mr Dutton said the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2013 shows that far too many people are still losing their lives in inland waterways, swimming pools and beaches across Australia every year.

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.

“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,” Mr Dutton said.

“Our investment will support the work of our brave 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.”

Media contact: Kay McNiece, Minister Dutton’s Office, 0412 132585

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