Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Learning to swim

    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Friday, February 02, 2018

    Learning to swim

    The welfare and safety of Queensland children at school, home and play is important to all of us.

    The opportunity for Queensland children to have a well-rounded education and the opportunity to realise their full potential is a priority for my Government as it is for parents and guardians across the State.

    Swimming is a life skill every child should have and every parent and guardian should insist upon.

    The Government encourages every parent in Queensland to ensure their child learns to swim and for parents to ensure their child is supervised. In recent years, we have dramatically tightened pool fencing laws and invested more in programs to promote safe swimming. Last year, no child drowned in pools with compliant fencing and where the gate had not been propped open.

    We know, because experts tell us, it is important children learn to swim before they go to school.

    In 2016-17, 19 children drowned in Queensland – 14 of them were aged under five years. Seven children drowned in swimming pools, five in bath tubs, three in lakes and dams, two in objects containing water and one each at the beach and one in a river or creek.

    More than 150 Queensland state schools have swimming pools on site and state schools have access to the Learn to Swim grants to enable access to other public and private swim facilities.  The Government has increased funding to support this program in 2018.

    The Department of Education has advised that 96% of more than 1000 state schools across the State have reported they offer a Learn to Swim program to their students. 

    • Education Minister Grace Grace, who will work with stakeholders on swimming safety, will look at the barriers to the remaining 4% or 38 schools to offering the program and improved Learn to Swim program delivery.
    • Sport Minister Mick de Brenni will develop options for a voucher program, similar to the Government’s Get Started program, to assist children aged under five years in low-income families to undertake learn to swim courses. Under Get Started, more than $1 million in vouchers have been provided for swimming; and
    • The Government will see how the new Queensland Family and Child Commission campaign “Seconds Count” with Olympic Swimmer Mitch Larkin can be built upon through stakeholders and other groups to remind parents of need for supervision within arm’s length for young children. Link to ”Seconds Count” campaign

    These actions are in addition to the Government’s commitment of $17 million over three years to Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) to support 59 Surf Life Saving Clubs, SLSQ’s six branches and its State Centre. The Government, through Sport and Recreation Services, provides over $800,000 to SLSQ between 2017 and 2019 for organisational services and Queensland Health provides $100,000 annual for the QH Beach Safe Schools Program.

    Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier's office) 0417 263 791