Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Calls for water safety and swim lessons to be mandatory in NSW schools

Calls for water safety and swim lessons to be mandatory in NSW schools
December 30, 2014

In a bid to prevent drowning deaths in Country NSW, Councils in the State’s Central West are calling for compulsory water safety lessons for children while, in the lead up to the end of the 2014 school year, the NSW State Emergency Service has been running water safety lessons at schools in Dubbo, with a particular focus on the dangers of weirs.

In addition, following two deaths in recent years, Dubbo City Council has allocated $4 million for safety improvements at the South Dubbo weir.

SES Volunteer, Karen Martin, was called to one of the South Dubbo weir drownings and she said she's telling the children about the slim chances of rescue should someone go in.

Martin told the ABC "I tell them what a weir is, why they're in the water that they let water out of the dams and it comes down the river, that the faster the water is the more pressure there is in the weir.

"I ask them if they've been to the beach and if they've been dumped by a wave and it's like being dumped by thousands of waves at a time.

"You get held under each time and it just keeps going around and around until you run out of air."

Martin, who is also an AustSwim instructor, is passionate about teaching water safety to children after she almost drowned as a six year old.

She recalls "I was sitting on the bottom of the pool waiting to die, it was only that my mother came over to see what was going on.”

Meanwhile, Orange City Councillor, Jason Hamling, is calling on the NSW Government to make swimming lessons mandatory in all schools across the State.

Councillor Hamling said teaching primary school children basic swimming and water safety skills, will help prevent drowning deaths particularly in rural areas, explaining that the recent death of a kayaker on Bathurst's Ben Chifley dam highlights how dangerous local waterways can be and urgent action is needed.

Councillor Hamling stated "I'm actually calling on the State Government to see whether we can get compulsory swimming lessons back into our schools.

"Rivers, dams and those sort of things out west a lot of kids that drown and you know if a tragedy does happen there's help there for people who are put in that situation to try and keep someone alive, hopefully avert a tragedy.”

Councillor Hamling is awar that rivers, dams, pools and lakes can be extremely dangerous especially for inexperienced swimmers, adding “you don't get many second chances on the waterways and tragic accidents can occur in a split second.

"If we can do things to try and avert them by putting signs up or making compulsory, basic school lessons where young kids in Kindergarten or year one can if they are in danger or just keep afloat so they can get help."

Compulsory swimming lessons or water safety classes for all NSW school children is something Karen Martin supports.

She concludes "there are still too many children slipping through the cracks.

“I teach a lot of kids who are in their teens who have hardly been in the water.”

At the suggestion of Councillor Hamling, Orange City Council recently erected resuscitation signs which show people how to perform CPR, at Lake Canobolas, in case of an emergency.

Images show warning sign at South Dubbo Weir (top) and the South Dubbo Weir. Images courtesy of Dubbo City Council.

30th September 2014 - ROYAL LIFE SAVING REPORTS 'MODERATE BUT PROMISING' REDUCTION IN DROWNINGS

14th May 2014 - 10-YEAR REVIEW IDENTIFIES DROWNING DANGERS OF INLAND WATERWAYS

4th January 2013 - CALL FOR SCHOOL SWIMMING FUNDING IN VICTORIA

30th April 2010 - PUSH FOR SWIM TEACHING FOR ALL NSW STUDENTS

12th April 2010 - GOULD: LEARNING TO SWIM IN RIVERS, LAKES WILL SAVE LIVES


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

QUAYCLEAN

Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Surfaces / Venues

 
 

EventPro

At EventPro Software, we are proudly different from our industry competitors. We have a development-driven culture and 20 years’ experience in event, venue, and catering management software,…

read more

Events / Hospitality / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

PathMinder

PathMinder Pty Ltd have partnered with AllUser Industries srl to bring Europe’s most advanced high security portals to the Australian and New Zealand markets. AllUser Industries started to…

read more

Access / Fitness / Recreation / Security

 
 

INTELLIGENZ

Recreation Management Software for managing all your program registrations, facility bookings, membership pass sales and Point of Sale; including detailed reporting, automated customer communication…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology

 
 

COMMERCIAL AQUATICS AUSTRALIA

Commercial Aquatics Australia provides aquatic solutions nationwide and is one of the largest and most experienced companies specialising in the design, construction, renovation, service, maintenance…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 

GLADSTONE MRM

Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues

 
 

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

HIDROPLAY

Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business