New Australian Water Safety Strategy 2012-15 launched

The Australian Water Safety Council has launched a new Austalian Water Safety Strategy 2012-15 which aims to reduce drowning by 50% by the year 2020.

The Australian Water Safety Council believes this ambitious undertaking is entirely achievable through a strong, collaborative and evidence based approach. Since 2008, Australia has experienced a concerning increase in drowning deaths across the range of demographics, locations and activities. Unfortunately, in 2009 the 300 level was exceeded and again in 2011 there were 315 drowning deaths recorded.

The Australian Water Safety Strategy 2012-15 builds upon previous Australian Water Safety Plans and Strategies and was developed by the AWSC in collaboration with water safety agencies, government and other groups with an interest in preventing drowning.

ILS members Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, Surf Life Saving Australia and the Australian Council for Teachers of Swimming and Water Safety (AUSTSWIM) lead the The Australian Water Safety Council along with representatives of local government, facility managers and other NGO’s.

The Strategy was released at a conference that featured presentations ranging from child drowning research to the impact of climate change on coastal safety. A special forum on disaster management was faciltated by Surf Life Saving Australia, and Royal Life Saving Society – Australia took the lead in looking at harmonisation of Australian swimming pool fencing legislation.