Expressions of interest open for Bush Nippers program
Published: 09 Aug 2019 1:12pm
A summer splash in the river may be a distant memory during winter, but Wagga Wagga City Council is taking steps to improve safety around our waterways.
Adopted in June, the Wagga Wagga Inland Water Safety Management Plan included 13 recommendations for new infrastructure, programs to increase community awareness and other safety initiatives.
The implementation of the plan is underway, with expressions of interest now open for the operation of a Bush Nippers or similar type of program.
Bush Nippers is an inland adaptation to Beach Nippers, which aims to build upon the swimming and water safety knowledge and skills of children in open water environments.
“Now the plan has been adopted after public exhibition, we are looking at those recommendations and how we can implement them,” Strategic Recreation Officer Peter Cook said.
“There are a number of different items in the plan, both strategic and infrastructure based.
“Expressions of interest for a Bush Nippers or similar type of program are open now and as part of the plan, Council will provide up to $7000 towards establishing the program and purchasing equipment.
“We are keen to hear from any providers out there or community members and groups interested in providing these kinds of programs.
“One of the other initial projects from the plan will be the design of an emergency access boat ramp at Wagga Beach over the next six months or so.
“Some of the other initiatives include lobbying the NSW Government to provide free or subsidised learn to swim programs, and investigating how can we provide water rescue equipment in a vandal-proof cabinet at reserves.”
The development of the Wagga Wagga Inland Water Safety Management Plan was a key outcome from a Notice of Motion by Councillor Vanessa Keenan and was on public exhibition over summer before the finalised recommendations were adopted in June.
“The most effective way to increase river safety awareness is to teach kids the skills and knowledge early,” Cr Keenan said.
“Kids are also great at reminding us adults when we get complacent around safety.
“We live right alongside one of the most dangerous inland waterways in the country but there is no reason why we can’t respect the river and enjoy all it has to offer and for our kids to learn how to do so also.”
Expressions of interest are open now until 9am, Monday 2 September. For more information or to make a submission, contact Mr Cook on 1300 292 442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the Inland Water Safety Plan, visit wagga.nsw.gov.au/riversafety.