​Funding available for water safety initiatives

Issued: 5 July 2017

The NSW Government is encouraging water safety organisations, community groups and research bodies to apply for funding to help prevent drowning deaths across the state.

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said the Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program is open for applications until 4 August 2017.

"Tragically, last summer 41 people drowned in NSW. Where there is water there is danger and we need to get the message across to reverse the spike," Mr Grant said.

"This funding will help educate and better equip those heading into water at beaches, pools and inland waterways. We do not want another Christmas and New Year period like the last one where 17 lives were lost.

"Priority will be given to initiatives that target high-risk groups and locations that have been identified in research by Royal Life Saving."

This includes projects that focus on:

  • encouraging active parental supervision of children around water;
  • changing the risk-taking behaviour of men;
  • highlighting the dangers of swimming at unpatrolled locations; and
  • educating Aboriginal communities, CALD communities, and international visitors.

Minister Grant said the 2017-18 grant program also has a stronger emphasis on collaborative initiatives between water safety organisations and community groups.

"After listening to feedback at the inaugural Water Safety Forum on 9 May, it was clear that many water safety and community-based organisations were working towards a common goal," Mr Grant said.

"We want to bring water safety experts and community groups together to build water safety skills and resilience in our local communities.

"It's time to join forces, pool resources and reduce drownings in NSW together."

Application information for the Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program can be found at: http://www.watersafety.nsw.gov.au/Pages/water-safety-fund/Water-Safety-Fund.aspx

Royal Life Saving's Summer Drowning Report 16/17 is available at: www.watersafety.nsw.gov.au