Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Sports Minister acknowledges Government failure on water safety.

Download WordDownload Word



Media Release


Shadow Minister for Sport and Youth Affairs.

Shadow Minister Assisting the Shadow Minister for

Industry and Technology on Information Technology.

Labor Senator for the ACT


15 January 1999 -


Sports Minister acknowledges Government failure on water safety

Today’s telephone hook-up on drownings, convened by the Federal Sports Minister Jackie Kelly, is tacit acknowledgment that the Government’s 1998 nationwide initiative to combat drownings was a complete fai lure, Senator Kate Lundy, Shadow Minister for Sport, said today.

In March 1998, then Federal Sports Minister Andrew Thomson launched a new national body, The Australian Water Safety Council (AWSC) charged with addressing all aspects of safety for recreational, sporting and commercial activities connected with all coastal and inland waters of Australia.

Yet the Government provided no funding for AWSC.

Minister Kelly’s emergency phone hook-up indicates that the Government’s previous rhetoric on water safety failed because it was not matched by Government funding.

At the start on the summer season, Senator Lundy called on Ms Kelly to seek additional funding for basic water safety (see attached press release). Unfortunately it has taken the deaths of over 50 people on Australian beaches before the Minister decided to act.

Contact: Simon Tatz (02) 62300411 or 0418 488295