POLITICS

All Aussie Kids To Get Swimming Lessons Under Labor Plan

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten unveils a national plan for water safety.

15/05/2016 11:10 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Labor will boost funding for swimming lessons if elected to government.

All Aussie kids would have access to swimming lessons under a national water safety plan rolled out by a Labor government, opposition leader Bill Shorten says.

Speaking in Kingscliff on the NSW far north coast, Shorten said if elected Labor would ensure every Australian child of primary school age was taught to swim.

"The beach and water are so much part of Australia's identity. We know that ... from the beaches to the rivers to the backyard swimming pools Australian kids love the water," he told reporters in the marginal electorate on Sunday.

"It is really important that they learn how to swim and be confident around the water.

"What we look at doing is making sure that there is a national approach to water safety."

He said such a policy was especially important given 270 people drowned in the nation's waterways last year.

Labor is said to be pledging $41 million for the proposed program.

"Labor will make sure that every Aussie kid gets the chance to learn how to swim," Shorten added.

Richmond is held by Labor's Justine Elliot but electoral boundary changes have dropped the margin from 3.0 percent to less than 2 percent.

Shorten is scheduled to travel to Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.

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