FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the launch of a new water safety campaign, which aims to reduce the number of drowning deaths occurring in Australian rivers.
Mr Joyce said the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia’s (RLSSA) ‘Respect the River – Saving Lives in Australian Rivers’ campaign is part of ongoing efforts to promote water safety and save lives.
“The Coalition Government is committed to ensuring our waterways are a safe place for people living in the Electorate and across the nation,” he said.
“In 2014 we committed $4 million over four years to assist the Society’s ongoing effort to reduce drownings in inland waterways, with the goal of reducing deaths by 50 per cent by 2020.
“While last year saw the second lowest number of drowning deaths in 13 years, nationally 271 people still lost their lives with inland waterways continuing to be over-represented (99 deaths).”
He said the new campaign would remind swimmers, boaters, fishers and kayakers through targeted media and direct engagement, to be aware of their surroundings and understand the risks posed by rivers, dams and other inland waterways.
“A few simple steps can help save a life - wearing a life jacket, not consuming alcohol before swimming, boating or fishing, learning CPR and never swimming alone can make all the difference,” Mr Joyce said.
More information about the Respect the River – Saving Lives in Australian Rivers campaign is available at www.royallifesaving.com.au