Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman is frustrated with the McGowan Labor Government’s latest announcement that families will be forced to pay around double for children to participate in VacSwim classes.
Labor Minister for Education and Training, Hon Sue Ellery announced that fees for a 10 day program will increase from $13.50 to $30, or $20 for families with a concession card.
“Putting added financial pressure on families, especially around Christmas where many families do it tough, is very disappointing and parents can quite rightly feel let down by the McGowan Government,” Mr Redman said.
“Many families have two, three or four children enrolled in these classes, so the fee hike is a significant added cost.”
VacSwim teaches about 15,000 regional children essential swimming skills at 108 locations annually.
Learning vital water safety skills including swimming is especially important in regional WA, which is over-represented by drowning deaths. There were 42 drowning deaths in WA in 2016-17 with the drowning rate 3.7 times higher in regional WA than metropolitan Perth.
There are many unfenced dams, creeks and lakes in regional WA, as well as numerous swimming pools and beaches.
“Having access to affordable swimming lessons in our regions is key to keeping children safe around water,” Mr Redman said.