Page 2956 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022

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(b) inclusive access to swimming and learn to swim programs is important for the wellbeing of Canberrans, including physical and mental health, social connection, and sense of belonging;

(c) certain communities face barriers to access and participation in swimming because of cultural, social, or health reasons;

(d) the ACT Government conducted a successful trial of gender-specific swim sessions in 2019; and

(e) the ACT Government has funded two short-term programs through the annual Sport and Recreation Grants to support migrant and refugee swim programs, including women only programs at Gungahlin Leisure Centre and Aquatots at Gold Creek;

(2) further notes:

(a) diverse communities require privacy and additional features at pools to facilitate learning and swimming in safe and accessible spaces;

(b) current infrastructure and timetabling are not able to meet the ongoing needs of these communities; and

(c) inclusive swimming and learn to swim programs are a matter of equality. Every Canberran deserves to access safe swimming in an environment that is suitable for their needs; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) commit to providing gender-specific and gender-diverse swim times, through working with all relevant stakeholders;

(b) continue to work with operators to establish a further trial of gender-specific swim times at a suitable pool;

(c) ensure that public pools clearly communicate that all are welcome, and that their complaint and reporting mechanisms are clear, supportive and accessible should any issues arise;

(d) commit to ensuring that future ACT Government swimming infrastructure will be designed in an inclusive manner, such as an enclosed smaller pool for those requiring privacy or sensory-friendly facilities, and individual gender-neutral changing facilities; and

(e) report back to the Assembly by November 2023 on progress.

I wish to talk today about how Australia is a hot country, and climate change is making it even hotter. Spending time in the water is one of our time-honoured ways to keep cool. We have always been a nation of swimmers, whether we are talking about Olympic medallists such as Fanny Durack, Dawn Fraser and Ian Thorpe, or simply about the kids in the bush jumping into their local watering hole from a homemade tyre swing attached to a nearby tree.

There are more than a million swimming pools in Australia, and around 85 per cent of our population lives within 50 kilometres of a beach. Of course, swimming is not our only form of water-oriented recreation. There is also boating, surfing, fishing, waterskiing, parasailing and scuba diving—all of which are made safer if their participants know how to swim well and how to stay safe in and around the water. Very few people who were born in Australia or came here as young children grow up unable to swim, or unaware of the risks around water. This is due to the efforts of

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