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Watch Around Water gets Federal backing at South Australian launch

September 11, 2011
Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, has launched the Watch Around Water program for 2011/2012 at the Links Modular Solutions, 2011 South Australian Aquatics Conference.
Introducing the Watch Around Water program at Friday's conference at the new South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Senator Farrell highlighted the misconception among many parents that the supervision of young children is the sole responsibility of the lifeguards when visiting public aquatic facilities, and went on to state "Watch Around Water encourages parents and guardians to take on the accountability for adequately supervising their children while visiting public aquatic facilities."
The Links Modular Solutions, 2011 State Aquatics Conference, presented by Recreation SA, included local and national guest speakers covering a variety of topics, including water safety, pool legislation and health, best practice facility design management and marketing ideas. The event also included an afternoon session just for lifeguards.
Recreation SA Chief Executive Ian Dewey explained "learning to swim is important especially with our Australian 'girt by sea' lifestyle. However, adequate supervision in the first ten years is the critical factor in significantly reducing child drownings.
"No person who has been involved in a child drowning; parent, bystander, lifeguard ever fully recovers; but a few simple actions can substantially change the statistics for the better. Sadly; drownings of children have occurred as a result of parents who just don't think about their responsibility to watch their children in a public pool."
Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA) Chief Executive Rob Bradley, another speaker at the conference, hinted that there could be a coming together between Watch Around Water and the RLSSA's rival Keep Watch @Public Pools campaign and, although Bradley emphasised that "discussions (on the matter) will best be held behind closed doors."
Conference attendees were also taken on a guided tour of the brand new SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre, getting a behind the scenes view of the state of the art facility.
Watch Around Water is an industry driven program, owned by LIWA Aquatics, delivered by Royal Life Saving Society ï¾ Western Australia that involves Recreation SA, Life Saving Victoria and Aquatics and Recreation Victoria.

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