Thursday, 6 July 2017
AS residents across the region yearn for a return of the summer period, local State MP Adam Marshall is encouraging local councils and community organisations to apply for funding from the NSW Government to launch programs to improve water safety and prevent drownings throughout the Northern Tablelands.
Mr Marshall said last summer, 41 people tragically drowned at a range of locations across the state.
“While many people in country NSW enjoy a fish or a swim in our rivers or dams, few take precautions to minimise the risks that can be hiding just below the surface,” Mr Marshall said.
“Most of us associate drowning deaths with rips and waves on the coast – but inland waterways can be just as dangerous, with snags, hidden obstructions and freezing cold water presenting potentially lethal hazards to swimmers.
“Over the last 10 years – we’ve seen a 25 per cent decrease in the number of people who drown in inland rivers, streams, dams and lakes, thanks to increasing awareness of how to spend time in our waterways safely.
“I’d like to see that continue and to avoid another horror summer like last year – so I’d encourage local groups to seek this funding for water safety initiatives.”
The Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program will prioritise initiatives that target high-risk groups and locations, identified in research undertaken by Royal Life Saving Society Australia for the government.
This includes projects that focus on:
- encouraging parents to actively supervise their children around water;
- changing the risk-taking behaviour of men;
- highlighting the dangers of swimming at unpatrolled locations; and
- educating Aboriginal communities, CALD communities, and international visitors
Grants range from $25,000 to $250,000 and collaborative projects between water safety and community organisations will be given precedence. Applications are now open and close on 4 August 2017