Deb joins the call to teach kids to swim
NANANGO MP and LNP leader Deb Frecklington is backing News Queensland's Save Our School Kids campaign.
Mrs Frecklington said it is vital that all primary school aged students learn and she has joined the chorus calling for the State Government to fund lessons in schools.
"The safety of our children is above politics and as a mum, I know how important it is that we teach all Queensland children how to swim and to be water wise,” she said.
"It's always heartbreaking when we hear of the loss of another precious life because they haven't learnt this skill.
"We're calling on Labor to use this policy to help save lives.
"The state Labor government must find the money to help Queensland families teach their kids water safety and swimming.”
Mrs Frecklington said the government could find the cash to pay for the program by reining in Department of Education spending on IT which she estimates has blown out by $17million.
"Annastacia Palaszczuk should prioritise swimming lessons for our kids over government waste,” Mrs Frecklington said.
Along with calling for schools to do their part the LNP also revived a 2017 election promise to offer swimming lesson vouchers for toddlers.
The party pledged to spend $18million to provide free lessons for 120,000 babies and toddlers.
Each vouchers would give parents $150 for lessons for kids aged 1-4-years-old. This would cover eight-10 lessons.
"Here in the bush we have dams, creeks, waterways, ponds, pool. There is lots of access to water and we have to make sure we are not only teaching kid to swim but to be water-wise.”
The Queensland government is taking note of the Save Our School Kids campaign.
On Friday, February 3, premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government would audit school swimming programs and look at measures to help low-income families to get their children into lessons.
She stopped short of ensuring lessons for every student.
Education Minister Grace Grace will investigate how to make swimming instruction available to students at the 38 schools that currently offer no classes.
Experts, including legendary coach Laurie Lawrence, swimming instructors and the Royal Lifesaving Society Australia say compulsory, certified and benchmarked lessons are essential to ensure children have the level of skill necessary.
Lawrence said until Queensland adopted a model like Tasmania, where every primary schoolchild received free school lessons until they could show they could swim 50m, Sunshine state children would be at risk.
"Kids can't swim 50m and it's a disgrace,” Mr Lawrence said.