Today’s release of the National Drowning Report 2019 provides a timely reminder of the need for all Australians to continue to work together to improve water safety.
As summer approaches and the weather warms up, more and more people will head to beaches, rivers and pools to cool off and have fun.
Tragically, figures released today show 276 people drowned in the 12 months from July 2018 to June 2019, up 10 per cent on the previous 12 months.
Forty-five per cent of those deaths occurred over the summer period, an increase of 17 per cent on the 10-year average.
Worryingly, drownings of young people aged 15-24 increased by 61 per cent on the previous 12 months and 32 per cent on the long term average.
At today’s launch of the report, both Royal Life Saving Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia said that all drowning deaths are preventable.
The dedicated efforts of these organisations, including professional life guards and lifesavers as well as thousands of volunteers contributing to millions of patrol hours each year, make a vital and greatly valued contribution to our nation.
Labor is committed to continuing to work with Australia’s water safety organisations to help Australians keep themselves and each other safe and prevent drowning deaths this summer and into the future.
Water safety education and awareness need to become as much a part of our Australian way of life as recreational activities in and around the water.