The Victorian Government’s latest budget has allocated a total of $17.1 million over four years for three key water safety projects, which will contribute to addressing key priority areas as identified in the Victorian Water Safety Strategy.
Announced in this week’s Victorian budget, the funding includes $1.9 million for the development of new public swimming pool safety standards, $9.2 million to teach more Victorian school children how to swim and $6 million for lifesaving clubhouse redevelopments and urgent repairs.
The public swimming pool safety project, to be undertaken by Life Saving Victoria and WorkSafe Victoria, will see ongoing funding for coordination and promotion of public pool safety and the development of a Victorian Code of Practice for all public swimming pools.
Following the Victorian Government’s announcement in November 2016 that swimming and water safety would become a mandatory part of the Victorian Curriculum this year, Government and Catholic schools will receive a $50 contribution towards the cost of swimming lessons, based on the number of Year 6 students at the school.
Funding has also been provided for urgent repairs and maintenance works at lifesaving facilities. These critical repairs will improve health and safety outcomes for lifesaving volunteers and the public. Facilities to receive this funding will be identified and prioritised through an independent audit process.
Governance of facility funding will continue to be managed by Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV) Facilities Development Committee.
Commenting on the funding, Life Saving Victoria Chief Executive Nigel Taylor said these projects will address a number of priority areas identified in the Victorian Water Safety Strategy 2016-2020 as requiring urgent attention.
Nigel Taylor - CEO, Lifesaving Victoria
Taylor stated “I’d like to thank the Victorian Government for providing funding for these important water safety initiatives, which will work toward our ultimate goal of reducing fatal and non-fatal drowning and water-related injuries in Victoria.”
As the peak agency for water safety in Victoria, LSV will coordinate and collaborate on strategies to promote water safety and prevent drowning incidents. LSV will provide further details to stakeholders as details develop about implementation of these projects.