Water safety campaign launched in Wagga

Published: 31 Jan 2020 2:40pm

A new water safety campaign focused on respecting the river and looking out for your friends at local waterways was launched in Wagga Wagga this week.

The campaign is a joint initiative between Wagga City Council and Royal Life Saving Australia, formed as part of the city’s implementation of the Inland Water Safety Management Plan.

The message to residents and visitors when attending local waterways is to “Make The Right Call … to keep your mates safe”.

The focus is on three key messages: Wear a lifejacket, avoid going alone and avoid alcohol.

The campaign will be prominent across Council and Royal Life Saving social media channels as the hot weather continues into the last month of summer.

Council Strategic Asset Planner Ben Creighton said the launch of this latest campaign was timely as temperatures are set to soar this weekend.

“We want to reinforce the message to stay safe around local waterways and to respect the river,” Mr Creighton said.

“People head to the water when it’s hot, so this new campaign targets some of the key factors to help keep your family and friends safe. We want everyone to keep a look out for your mates.

“Council is partnering with Royal Life Saving to deliver a number of recommendations in the Inland Water Safety Management Plan. There are many opportunities for Council to build upon the water safety message.”

There were 13 recommendations listed in a report to Council which was approved at its Ordinary Meeting on 16 December last year.

As part of this, the Bush Nippers water safety and awareness program being developed in Wagga is a step closer.

Other recommendations include:

  • Explore avenues to lobby the State Government to introduce free water safety and learn to swim programs in all publicly funded primary schools.
  • In consultation with the State Emergency Services and Volunteer Rescue Association, construct an emergency services only river access point at the western end of Wagga Beach.
  • Install compliant water safety signage.
  • Investigate the development of vandal proof waterway rescue cabinets.
  • Council officers access the appropriate level of knowledge and training.
  • Council continue delivering the Royal Life Saving Australia’s Learn to Swim program as an Active Kids Provider.