Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan today announced Life Saving Victoria (LSV) as the official charity partner of the 2012 Regional Victoria Living Expo, to be held at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre (27 – 29 April).
Mr Ryan said the partnership aimed to raise valuable awareness of the dangers of waterways in regional communities.
“Regional Victoria’s waterways are a natural drawcard and while we want people to enjoy these great natural attractions, it’s important to remember every water environment has inherent dangers which can be deadly,” Mr Ryan said.
“Life Saving Victoria provides a valuable emergency service and the Victorian Coalition Government is proud to announce LSV as our official charity partner.
“Tragically there were 34 drowning deaths in Victoria in 2010/2011 and of these, 59 per cent occurred in regional and rural areas. Comparatively, of the 38 drowning deaths in 2009/2010, 47 per cent occurred in regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.
LSV Chief Executive Officer Nigel Taylor said volunteer lifesaver patrols were just one of LSV’s many services which worked to improve water safety across all aquatic environments.
“Our services also include education and training programs, research and injury prevention, and communication campaigns, such as Play it Safe by the Water, to raise awareness of water safety,” Mr Taylor said.
“We look forward to being at the 2012 Regional Victoria Living Expo where we can talk to patrons about what they can do to keep their families safe around water.”
The free Expo will host Victoria’s 48 rural and regional councils as well as exhibitors under one roof to give Melbourne residents and businesses all the information they need to consider relocating to regional and rural Victoria.
People attending the Expo will be asked to contribute a gold coin donation to Life Saving Victoria.
For more information on the Regional Victoria Living Expo visit www.rdv.vic.gov.au/expo.
Media contact: Sonia Heath 0413 485 526
Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan today unveiled the new $190,000 Australian Volunteer Coast Guard (AVCG) Queenscliff headquarters which has been rebuilt from the ashes with Victoria Coalition Government support.
“The Queenscliff Coast Guard headquarters has been operating out of temporary facilities since November 2007 after the original building was destroyed by arson,” Mr Ryan said.
“This new flotilla will ensure volunteers can best serve and protect the local community which utilises the busy and hazardous stretch of water around the Bellarine Peninsula.
“Queenscliff’s flotilla covers Port Phillip heads which is a dangerous marine area and the new facilities will help Coast Guard volunteers carry out their vital job.”
Mr Ryan said the new well-equipped headquarters included a marine radio station, meeting and training room, first aid room and storage area for Coast Guard equipment and records.
“The Coalition Government is committed to supporting the AVCG Queenscliff operations to undertake important marine safety work, from small boat engine failure assistance to full-scale search and rescue operations,” Mr Ryan said.
The new headquarters has been made possible by $50,000 State Government funding, $17,000 Queenscliff flotilla funding, $10,000 donations, and a $113,000 insurance payout.
“The Queenscliff flotilla will keep the community informed about marine safety with marine education courses for the boating public and training for returning Coast Guard members,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said the AVCG’s commitment to local marine safety and their selfless work made them a central part of emergency services on Victorian waterways.
“AVCG flotillas are totally integrated into the emergency services as registered CFA brigades and they work very closely with the Victoria Water Police, Volunteer Marine Rescue Mornington, Victorian State Emergency Services, and Life Saving Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.
“The Queenscliff Coast Guard responded to 61 incidents and callouts in the last financial year as part of its all-hazards, all-agencies approach to community safety.”Media contact: Sonia Heath 0413 485 526
Victoria has experienced the lowest rate of drowning deaths on record according to the 2011 Victorian Drowning Report released today by the Victorian Coalition Government.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan said 34 people died in drowning incidents in 2010/11– the lowest drowning rate since the start of the Play It Safe by the Water campaign in 1998.
“While the latest figures are an improvement on previous years, the reality is one drowning death in the water is one too many, and that people of all ages must be vigilant around waterways,” Mr Ryan said.
“One area that has seen a significant improvement is the rate of toddler drowning deaths, which is down from seven in 2009/10 to just one in 2010/11,” Mr Ryan said.
“The ‘20 seconds is all it takes for a child to drown’ advertising campaign is believed to have played a big part in reducing the death toll and the government will invest $500,000 to ensure it continues this summer.”
Mr Ryan said while the overall result was welcome, the report showed that drowning deaths were still too frequent among certain age groups and in certain areas.
“The report highlights that there are still too many drowning deaths in the 5 to 14 years of age group and amongst young males,” Mr Ryan said.
“People aged over 60 years, however, accounted for the highest drowning rate, with medical conditions playing a major factor in these drownings.”
Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government, together with the aquatics industry, was working on new and existing water safety strategies to promote water safety and highlight the risks.
“The Coalition Government has allocated $3 million this financial year to continue delivering water safety programs which include the Play It Safe by the Water campaign, community and school education programs and lifesaving services,” Mr Ryan said.
“Advertising campaigns over summer will reinforce safety messages to parents, carers and at-risks groups such as Look Before you Leap and Never Swim Alone.
“Children will also benefit from a $1.6 million Coalition Government VICSWIM initiative to make learn-to-swim classes more affordable for families by providing subsidies on lessons,” Mr Ryan said.
Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) will receive $500,000 from the Coalition State Government to rebuild its clubhouse after it was almost destroyed by violent storms in 2007.
During a visit to Seaspray today, Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan announced a new club would be built in a location less susceptible to storms.
“As one of the last Victorian surf life saving clubs located on coastal dunes, Seaspray SLSC is very much at the mercy of the elements,” Mr Ryan said.
“In 2007 storms washed millions of tonnes of sand into the sea, leaving the local clubhouse on the brink of toppling into the ocean.
“The Coalition’s $500,000 investment will ensure the club can be relocated back up the beach, out of harm’s way, therefore ensuring the club’s future for many years to come.”
Mr Ryan said the funding was part of $7 million Life Saving Victoria has received to upgrade clubhouses and provide on-the-ground administration support.
“The $7 million commitment includes $6 million to upgrade clubhouses and $1 million for field-based administrators to support Life Saving Victoria volunteers and the organisations’ operations,” Mr Ryan said.
Life Saving Victoria will ensure plans for any new or upgraded clubhouses fit in with local coastal environments in terms of the use of sustainable practice and building design.
Mr Ryan commended volunteer surf life savers for freely giving their time to protect beach goers, and to Life Saving Victoria for its role in educating the public about beach and water safety.
“The Coalition Government recently announced an extra $1.5 million investment in Victoria’s water safety campaign, Play It Safe by the Water, which directly targets an alarming rise in toddler drownings and also focuses on young men, who are among those most at-risk of drowning and water-related deaths,” Mr Ryan said.