The Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie, has called on the Federal Government to financially support Surf Lifesaving Australia’s a research program, which is designed to further reduce drowning deaths in Australia.
Senator McKenzie teamed up with Senators from Queensland, NSW and Victoria, to introduce a joint motion to Parliament for more support for the lifesaving movement, including those clubs along Victoria’s Surf Coast.
Senator McKenzie is an active member of the Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club.
“The number of coastal drownings has been trending down in recent years, due in no small part to the valuable work of the surf lifesaving movement,” Senator McKenzie said.
“There were 61 confirmed coastal drowning deaths in the 2010/11 financial year, a reduction of 23 on the previous year, and well below the seven-year average of 89 deaths.”
Senator McKenzie attended the release of the National Coastal Safety Report at a ceremony in Canberra last week.
She said that even though the coastal death toll was trending down, the loss of 11 lives along the Surf Coast last financial year was 11 to many.
In the motion now before the Senate, the Senators noted that Surf Lifesaving Australia is pivotal to achieving the Australian water Safety Council’s aim to halve the drowning death toll by 2020.
They call on the Federal Government to assist Surf Lifesaving Australia with further funding for its data and research program, which is designed to support targeted developments in education, technology and communications to reduce deaths by drowning.