MAKE A SPLASH: Livingstone Shire mayor Bill Ludwig wants to see compulsory swimming lessons introduced to his region's schools, as he joins the choir of supporters backing the Save Our Schoolkids campaign.
MAKE A SPLASH: Livingstone Shire mayor Bill Ludwig wants to see compulsory swimming lessons introduced to his region's schools, as he joins the choir of supporters backing the Save Our Schoolkids campaign. Rachael Conaghan

#SaveOurKidsQLD: Livingstone mayor backs swim lesson campaign

Beaches to match any the world over are on Livingstone residents' doorstep, but some of the region's youngest may risk their lives taking a dip.

Though the statistics suggest coastal kids have more opportunities to gain water and swimming experience, mayor Bill Ludwig said his community should not be complacent.

Cr Ludwig joined the chorus of voices calling on the Queensland Government to support The Morning Bulletin's Save Our Schoolkids campaign, which demands sate-funded compulsory certified swim programs in the state's primary schools.

"I am also happy to put forward a Mayoral Minute for our council to formally add our collective voice to the call and write to respective ministers," Cr Ludwig said.

Cr Ludwig believes families disadvantaged by low income, or those with time-poor parents due to work commitments, would become the big winners in an SOS campaign victory.

He said some mothers and fathers may not have the time or skill-set to dedicate to teaching the potentially life-saving lessons.

"A compulsory or universal schools-based swimming program would certainly provide 'safety-net' to ensure no kids are missing out on the opportunity to learn these basic but vitally necessary survival skills."

Cr Ludwig explained in Livingstone, as in most communities, council pools are leased out to private sector operators and managers.

"Council certainly supports and encourages our managers and lessees to conduct a range of learn to swim classes and swim squad programs," he said.

The LSC is currently undertaking a shire-wide audit of sport and recreation activities and resources to identify any gaps or priority areas for council to focus on.

"Which can and will be looking at swimming from both a facilities as well as a sports, training and water safety perspective," he said.

"If there are opportunities to add to or improve the available of swimming tuition these will certain get a high priority flag from our council."

"Council also provides direct funding to Surf Lifesaving Queensland for the provision of lifeguard services during peaks holiday periods.

"Water safety for kids in particular is everyone's responsibility The Morning Bulletin and all those involved must be commended on their pro-active campaign to raise awareness and find solutions to address this issue."



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