Given our climate and the need to cool off in summer, swimming is an important life skill for Queensland children. Tragically, child drownings are occurring in our backyard swimming pools and local waterways and dams.
The Royal Life Saving Society drowning report indicated that for 2016-17, 73 people of all ages in Queensland drowned, an increase on the previous year.
The Queensland Family and Child Commission analysis of deaths of children and young people in Queensland shows 81 Queensland children between the ages of 1 to 4 have drowned in the last 10 years.
That’s more than 60% of all child drownings in Queensland.
More needs to be done to help our youngest Queenslanders with water safety and education and to help parents with the cost of swimming lessons. Helping parents get their kids into swimming lessons is an important way to reduce child drownings and deliver benefits of an active lifestyle.
In government, the LNP introduced the Get in the Game program, providing $150 vouchers to help Queensland kids with the cost of playing sport and grants and infrastructure upgrades to local sports clubs across Queensland.
As part of that program, swimming clubs were eligible for funding through the Get Startedprogram, however they were listed with all of the other sports that wanted to become accredited clubs.
OUR REAL PLAN
A Tim Nicholls-led Liberal National Government will introduce a dedicated $18 million program to provide free swimming lessons for 120,000 Queensland bubs and toddlers over three years.
Our Get Swimming Bubs and Toddlers policy will provide $150 vouchers to parents who enrol their kids (aged 1 to 4) into swimming lessons with an accredited club, similar to the eligibility criteria and process under the Get Started program.
This will not only provide free swimming lessons to 120,000 young Queenslanders, but it allows more kids from other sports to receive vouchers under the Get Started program.
Water safety and education is just too important for kids to be denied because of the cost involved.
Providing safe and liveable communities is a key part of the LNP’s plan to Build a Better Queensland.