Migrant water safety crucial

ALTHOUGH fewer people drowned last year, the fall has not been enough to reverse the growing death toll and a Canterbury Bankstown Councillor has called for more action.

Cr Rachelle Harika said her particular concern was that “our newest citizens are at a greater risk of drowning having not necessarily had the benefit of growing up in an aquatic-rich society such as the one we enjoy here in Australia”.
“A number of organisations, including Royal Lifesaving Australia and Canterbury Bankstown Council, have been working to address this at risk component of our community through various programs,” she said.
“I also acknowledge the tremendous work the council does with its private swimming pool compliance inspections, however as a provider of public pools, there would be opportunity to develop water safety awareness.”
A council spokesperson said that while it was in the process of investigating additional ways to raise awareness about the importance of water safety among new citizens, there were already a number of initiatives – such as Free first aid and CPR courses, Learn to Swim programs, Community Safety Expo and Super Vision water safety campaign.
One of our newest residents, Marcel Magnaye, welcomed any help he and his family could get with water safety.
The Panania resident moved from the Phillipines six years ago and is a regular, with his son, at the Max Parker Leisure and Aquatic Centre in Revesby.
“Water safety is important for our children and it is good for our children to learn to learn to swim,” he said.
There were 249 drowning deaths across Australia between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, a 14 per cent reduction on 2016/17 and an 11 per cent reduction on the 10-year average.