The Hon. PAUL GREEN:
My question is directed to the Minister for Roads and Ports, representing the Minister for Education. According to the Royal Life Saving's National Drowning Report 2010, in the past two years the overall number of drowning deaths has increased a staggering 20 per cent. The report states that 56 children under the age of 17 years drowned from July 2009 to June 2010. Royal Life Saving estimates that one in five children will leave primary school without being able to swim the length of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Given these findings, is there a provision in the New South Wales primary school syllabus to ensure that all primary school children are taught to swim? If not, why not?
The Hon. DUNCAN GAY:
What a good question. One of the best things we can do for our children is to waterproof them and the best way to do that is to teach them how to swim. I was not aware of the numbers, but 56 children under 17 years of age drowning between July 2009 and June 2010 and one in five not being able to swim are dramatic figures. I do not have the answer to this question, but I know that my colleague the Minister for Education will. I will refer the matter to him for an answer.