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Water Safety Council conference to present plan to reduce drownings by half

Water Safety Council conference to present plan to reduce drownings by half
April 9, 2012

A draft strategy to reduce drowning deaths in Australia by at least 50% by 2020 is to be revealed at the upcoming Australian Water Safety Conference, hosted by the Australian Water Safety Council.

The strategy will be a key focus of the conference with delegates invited to provide feedback on the strategy and its implementation.

Royal Life Saving Society Australia Chief Executive and Water Safety Council Convenor Rob Bradley states "a 50% drowning reduction is a very ambitious goal but we also know that in 1920, more than eight people out of every 100,000 drowned.

"Adjusted for population, that would mean 1,800 people drowning in Australia every year. Yet, right now, we're close to 300.

"We've come a very long way in that time but we need to keep moving."

Following recent high profile drownings and water safety incidents interest in the Conference themes is expected to be heightened.

Australian Water Safety Council members Surf Life Saving Australia, Royal Life Saving Society Australia and AUSTSWIM are seeking a Federal Government commitment in the May 2012 Budget to meet a funding gap of $27 million per annum to achieve the 50% drowning reduction target.

The Australian Water Safety Conference 2012 - From Strategy to Action, is to be held at the Novotel Hotel, Brighton Beach, NSW on 4th and 5th June. It will also address 14 specific goals including the reduction of drowning deaths across specific age groups, the role of alcohol in drowning, high risk areas such as rural properties, surf beaches and home pools; the impact of climate change and extreme weather conditions; lifesaving practice and drowning research.

A call for abstracts and early registration is now underway.

The Conference is open to all interested parties from the aquatics, water safety and related industries.

The Australian Water Safety Council (AWSC) was formed in 1998 to provide water safety consultation to government, industry and the community. The Council is made up of representatives from lifesaving, swimming, sport and recreation, child protection, farming, marine safety, leisure and government organisations and associations.

For details contact the Australian Water Safety Council Conference Secretariat on 02 8217 3123, E: msharp@rlssa.org.auwww.watersafety.com.au

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