Gippsland South The Nationals Education

Swimming lessons in Primary Schools

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, is calling on the Melbourne Labor Government to help regional schools pay for lessons and student transport after swimming was made mandatory.

 The State Government announced last week that it will require students to learn how to swim 50 meters by the time they finish grade six.

Mr O’Brien said while he was supportive of primary school students learning how to swim, he had concerns about how the schools will afford to implement the program if additional funding is not provided.

“Many of our rural and regional schools are already constrained by tight budgets and it’s not good enough for Daniel Andrews to not find funding for this important initiative.

“For many of the schools in Gippsland, the biggest cost will be transporting students.

 “In places like Welshpool, Fish Creek, Loch, Nambrok, Woodside and Longford, which have no pool, they’ll have to get a bus to take students to the pool.

“The Premier has no trouble finding $1.3 million for its controversial Safe Schools program, but cannot find a single dollar for this program which will save lives.

“Sadly 43 people have drowned over the past year and it is a reminder to be vigilant and play it safe by the water,” Mr O’Brien said.

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