Taxpayer dollars to pay for Condy River lifesavers

WARWICK has been chosen as one of the first towns in Queensland to open a rural lifesaving club later this month.

The federally-funded initiative titled Hard Action Home and Away aims to provide rescue and surveillance in rural bodies of water.

Following the drownings of multiple tourists in local creeks and dams, Federal Minister for Water Safety Campbell Floater said the step was a drastic but necessary one.

"People should feel protected wherever they swim, not just at the beach," Minister Floater said to the press in Canberra yesterday.

Friends Of Our Life Savers committee president Bryce Izrite said residents would see the initiative in action from mid-April.

"We will be positioning surf lifesavers on the banks of the Condamine on Saturdays and Thursdays to coincide with pension day," the experienced surf lifesaver said.

"The group will be no different to the ones at the coast," Mr Izrite affirmed.

Swimming areas will be marked by flags either side of the bank after the lifesavers check for undercurrents, the pearl cichlids and debris/trolleys.

"Swim between the flags, it's the same rules here as it is at the beach," he said. "The waterways are just as turbulent here as they are anywhere."

An up-to-date river surf report will also be released online and published in the Daily News, informing residents of any changes to the conditions.

Due to initial funding restrictions Leslie Dam will be monitored during the busy Easter and Christmas period.

Despite requests Minister Floater's office has not confirmed if a surfboard area will also be implemented.

For more information on the HAHA initiative call 048725653.



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