AS well as the warm weather and blue skies, summer this year will bring improved water safety, with Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall announcing a $30,106 NSW Water Safety Fund Community Grant to help young children in the Inverell district learn water safety skills.
Mr Marshall said BEST Employment was successful in its application for funding for the Platypus Paddlers Water-Safety Program.
“This program, based in Inverell, will help infants, toddlers and parents in disadvantaged communities in the area develop swim safe skills,” Mr Marshall said.
“While some may think coastal waters may hold the greatest risks, studies show that inland waterways carry a variety of risks that endanger the lives of swimmers.
“This funding shows that we can’t just commit to protecting swimmers on our beaches. Often regional people can benefit the most from improved water safety skills.
“In 2016-17 there were 93 drowning deaths in NSW and between last Christmas and 8 January tragically 21 people lost their lives on our waterways. These are sobering statistics and a reminder about the importance of water safety.”
The Platypus Paddlers Water-Safety Program includes:
· Round-trip transport to the Inverell Centre from surrounding communities;
· All participants will be provided with a swim safe pack on registration, which will include goggles, inflatable arm bands, and printed resources such as CPR chart, Royal Life Saving’s Swim and Survive information sheets and RMS’ Water Safety Activity Book; and
· At the conclusion of the eight-week training, participants will receive a certificate of recognition, a hands-on accredited CPR training session, celebratory ‘graduation’ lunch with presentation of certificates, with the event promoted throughout media channels.
BEST Employment’s Manager Corporate and Community Services Mel Dowell said the program would help many in the community.
“BEST is happy to partner with Inverell Shire Council to deliver the Platypus Paddlers Water Safety Program,” Ms Dowell said. “We feel it is important to provide equal access to all residents when it comes to water safety skills and confidence.”