Home' ALGY : ALGY Edition 25 2018 Contents 12 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YEARBOOK EDITION 25
New water safety campaign launched after drowning
spike last summer
Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant has launched a
new government-led advertising campaign – Be Water Safe,
Not Sorry – to increase water safety awareness and deter risky
behaviour that could lead to drowning.
Grant says that last summer New South Wales experienced
the highest number of drowning fatalities since 2008–09,
with 41 people tragically losing their lives in New South Wales
waterways, including 17 over the nine days between Christmas
and 2 January 2017.
‘ We want locals and visitors to enjoy our beaches, rivers,
lakes and pools this summer, and we’re pleading with everyone
to look out for one another to avoid tragedy,’ says Grant.
‘Last summer’s news headlines were marred with water
accidents, and I call on everyone to act responsibly and remain
vigilant. Together, let’s make this summer a safe one.’
‘Everyone can do their part to ensure that families aren’t
devastated by the loss of a loved one as a result of drowning.’
The advertising campaign aims to educate people of the
very real risks associated with water, and what they can do to
ensure that they stay safe, including:
always supervising small children in or near water – don’t get
distracted by your phone, people at your door, or attending
to other children
staying sober – don’t drink or take drugs and then go
swimming or participate in a water-based activity
swimming at patrolled beaches, where possible – no flags
means no lifesavers, so don’t overestimate your swimming
The campaign is based on the findings of a report
commissioned by the New South Wales Government from
Royal Life Saving New South Wales, which found that beaches
and swimming pools were the leading locations for drowning,
accounting for nearly 25 per cent of fatalities each.
A further 34 per cent drowned in inland waterways like
rivers, creeks, streams, dams and lakes.
The report also found that 78 per cent of those who lost
their life to drowning were men, with young males aged 25–34
years the most at risk.
Importantly, the vast majority of those who drowned were
not international or interstate visitors, which is a common
More than 70 per cent of victims lived within 100 kilometres
of where they drowned and more than 50 per cent were
from Sydney. In fact, only one overseas visitor lost their life to
drowning last summer in New South Wales.
Census sheds light on profile of Victorian local leaders
The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has released the
results of the 2017 MAV Councillor Census.
The survey was previously conducted in 2003, 2006, 2009
and 2013 following local government elections.
Anonymous data was collected on gender, age, country
of origin and ancestry, marital status, caring responsibilities,
employment, working hours, education and qualifications,
income, disability, years of council service, and political party
membership from 336 councillors across 79 councils.
MAV President Cr Mary Lalios says that the MAV’s fifth
councillor census helped to shed light on profiling the elected
membership of Victorian councils.
‘According to the census, the average councillor is male and
aged over 46 years, married or living in a de facto relationship and
self-employed or working in paid employment.
‘Despite this, male and female councillors are equally
represented in manager, director, teaching, business owner and
CEO employment roles.
‘ Two-thirds of councillors are either working in paid
employment or [are] self-employed, with the majority earning
above $52,000 per year (excluding councillor allowances).
‘Almost 60 per cent have completed a university degree or
postgraduate qualification, which continues to rise over time.
‘ Women have higher levels of postgraduate qualifications
than male councillors, despite almost 50 per cent of them
having caring responsibilities compared to less than 30 per
cent of male councillors.
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