Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd. Tom Huntley

Coalition dives in to support lifesaving, prevent drownings

AUSSIES love the water, but sadly five people every week lose their life to drowning.

A Coalition government will work with surf lifesaving, the Royal Life Saving Society and AUSTSWIM to reduce drownings, according to Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.

"The Coalition's $15 million commitment is part of our Real Solutions Plan to build a stronger Australia and a better future - for all Australians," said Mr O'Dowd.

"Water safety is a big issue here in Flynn, considering we have one of the highest rates of boat ownership per capita in Gladstone, Awoonga Dam, the Fairbairn Dam in Emerald and several rivers which host so much recreational activity," Mr O'Dowd said.

"Most drownings are, in some way, avoidable: that is why we must invest in prevention. Our policy funds the experts whose work saves lives every day: Australia's surf lifesaving clubs, the Royal Life Saving Society and AUSTSWIM.

"Our plan will provide local surf clubs will average grants of $25,000 over five years to assist them purchase needed equipment, first aid and medical supplies."

In the Gladstone region there are Surf Life Saving Clubs based at Tannum Sands and Agnes Water.

"A typical surf club spends $3,000 a year on medical supplies like lotions, band-aids and bandages, so these grants will help surf clubs make ends meet."

Mr O'Dowd said they would also put $2 million to expand the Beach Drowning Black Spot Reduction program.

"As currents can be as dangerous as rips, our policy also works with the Royal Life Saving Society to Australia to identify ways of improving water safety on our inland waterways. This includes targeting alcohol consumption, the safe use of watercraft as well as providing practical training on things like water safety and CPR."

Mr O'Dowd said this is a practical policy that will, over time, save many families from heartache.



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