Surf Life Saving Queensland and the Queensland Government have vowed to work together to increase water safety for young children.
It comes after two toddlers were rushed to hospital after near-drownings in Queensland on Tuesday.
At a press conference on the Gold Coast on Wednesday, Education Minister Grace Grace said rumours the Government ignored calls for mandatory swimming lessons in primary schools was inaccurate.
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“From that, we were able to increase funding which started this year for school swimming grants that are given to schools and also to look at other ways we can increase the number of children taking swimming lessons,” Ms Grace said.
“All options are on the table, but Queensland is a very large, diverse state.
“It’s very hard to have a compulsory swimming program in a controlled environment where there are no pools available in some remote areas.”
SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan welcomed the Minister’s comments and said he was looking forward to working with the government to help youngsters in the water.
“We certainly welcome an opportunity to work directly with other key stakeholders, the Minister, her department, and the wider Queensland Government to increase water safety for all children across the state,” Mr Brennan said.
“In the past three years the Premier and key portfolio Ministers have been very supportive of SLSQ and the great work the volunteers and staff do to keep beachgoers safe. Testament of this support is shown by the fact that for the first time in 30 years last year’s State Budget included yearly increase of the base funding for all of SLSQ Clubs and services we perform.”
“We will continue to work with the Government on a range of new and existing initiatives and appreciate their support when it comes to improving water safety in Queensland.”