Greg Hunt

Federal Member for Flinders | Minister for Health | Minister for Sport

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Transcript - Hastings doorstop

Friday, 1 September 2017

Transcript - Hastings doorstop
E&OE…

Topics: Launch of Laurie Lawrence’s Kids Alive Do The Five app; Meningococcal vaccine; WA GST

GREG HUNT:
I’m really thrilled to have the great Laurie Lawrence here in Hastings at Pelican Park. This pool is about teaching kids to swim.

It’s about helping parents to understand safety. Today Laurie is launching the Kids Alive Do The Five app and videos.

This is about giving parents the opportunity to understand exactly how to keep their eyes on their kids to keep everything safe. In the end, we’ve gone from 63 down to 21 deaths a year for under fives, but we have to aim for zero.

The only acceptable target is zero. Not one of these kids can afford to be lost. Every child is fundamental to every family, so our only goal is zero.

Laurie’s just been included in the international swimming hall of fame, not just as a brilliant coach but also as a champion of water safety.

There are hundreds, if not more, kids who are around today because of his work and his leadership. So we’re delighted to be supporting Laurie’s app, Kids Alive Do the Five. Over to you, Laurie.

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
Well, I tell you, Minister, I’d give up that gold medallion for the international swimming hall of fame to save kids, and that’s exactly because it must be dreadful to lose a little child.

I see my grandkids here, I couldn’t bare it. Last year, we lost 21 little kids in Australia, that’s a busload of kids. We want zero preschool drownings in this country.

And now, the new app, the Kids Alive Do the Five app which is available today on Google Play and in the App Store, we hope that every parent in Australia will get this. It’s free F-R-E-E, no charge.

But do you know what? None of this could have been possible without the support of the Federal Government, both sides of politics, but particularly now Minister Hunt.

We’ve got DVDs, water safety books that go free to every early learning centre in Australia. There is a water safety DVD, and you know about it, that goes to the parents of every newborn in Australia.

Other countries around the world envy what we are doing. And the Kids Alive, with other organisations, Royal Life, et cetera – we’ve driven drownings from 63 to 21. That’s the only water safety stat in Australia that’s going down, but we want zero – that’s the key.

JOURNALIST:
Laurie, can you talk us through what’s in the app?

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
Oh, the app. The kids might be able to do it better than me.

JOURNALIST:
Great, they can show us a little bit, but just talk us through exactly what’s in it.

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
Alright, what’s in it? We’ve got books, we’ve got animated cartoons, video clips of songs so the kids can get there and bop along to water safety music.

There’s even stuff in there for the parents. But basically it’s for the kids. But the parents can go in and find out where can we be safe around water, pools, dams, creeks, rivers, home, pool, beach and farm safety. It’s all in this app and it’s free.

JOURNALIST:
Do you reckon it’s making education a little bit more fun?

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
It certainly is making education fun. You watch these kids light up as soon as I give them this. They’ll take off.

JOURNALIST:
How important is it for the kids to get the message and not just the parents?

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
Well, it’s so important because what we do on our swim school, we keep the parents in until the children turn 12. I think as a safety message this is vital.

But you know what that does? The parents go to a pool and they say to the kids go in, but the little ones, this little one when she was three at a pool party said mummy are you coming in with me?

It’s so vital to get the parents involved in water safety. And it’s so vital that when you’re teaching your kids to swim there’s that bonding between mother and child, and the kids start to understand water safety.

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
We want everyone in the community to know about water safety. We want parents, grandparents, grandmothers, anyone, uncles, aunts, and of course, give us a kiss baby. Just one. Just one. One from you. Give me one. Give me a kiss quick.

[Laughter]

JOURNALIST:
What should people search for to download it?

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
To download it, it’s Kids Alive Do the Five. Google Play or App Store, whatever, but it’s free.

JOURNALIST:
I think we’ve got that.

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
Not three – free. Free.

JOURNALIST:
Greg, how important is it for the Federal Government to be backing an app like this?

GREG HUNT:
This app is about saving lives. It’s about beautiful young kids, such as Harper and Evie, making sure that they have the safe environment for swimming.

Look, here in Pelican Park we’ve got Kate Roper and we’ve got the incredible staff who are teaching families and teaching kids how to swim.

So, at the end of the day, it’s a really simple message: if we teach our kids how to swim and if we keep our eyes on them, we keep them alive.

JOURNALIST:
Is there anything else you’d like to add?

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
I want to say how great this facility is. If every country town around Australia had a facility like this, a heated indoor pool where people can swim all year round, a little teaching pool where the kids, look at these little ones in the water now.

They learn through exploration, so if we can get warm, heated water, shallow enough for kids to explore, you’re going to save many lives, provided the parents are close by, as these parents are here now.

This is a magic facility, and I don’t know if you’ve pulled a few strings to get the facility here, but every country town in Australia should have one of these, not only catering for little kids, but adults, seniors.

It is a fantastic facility and I congratulate the council, Councillor Kate Roper on what a magnificent job you’ve done in getting a facility here for the whole community.

GREG HUNT:
Now, can you now tell us the five? Are you ready?

JOURNALIST:
Can you look at me? What’s the motto?

GREG HUNT:
What do you say?

JOURNALIST:
What do you say, kids …

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
Fence the pool – you know the whole thing.

PRESCHOOL SWIMMER:
Fence the pool, shut the gate, teach your kids to swim. It’s great.

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
Yay.

JOURNALIST:
And very well-learned.

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
And Sue, what are you going to say?

PRESCHOOL SWIMMER:
Supervise, watch your mate, and learn how to resuscitate.

JOURNALIST:
Amazing.

GREG HUNT:
That is impressive.

JOURNALIST:
Very, very well-learned.

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
That’s why they’re well-paid.

GREG HUNT:
They get a day off school to…

LAURIE LAWRENCE:
I did. I paid you, look, you know that I do pay you. Because look at this. Because see this? You are a star, that’s why.

GREG HUNT:
This is a livestream negotiation. Alright. Now, you had a couple of other questions for me?

JOURNALIST:
Is it the case that the Federal Government is going to introduce free meningococcal vaccinations to all Australian children, covering four strains of the disease?

GREG HUNT:
We are on the verge of a breakthrough. I am very hopeful for the first time we will have a meningococcal vaccine that covers the four key strains.

I’ve asked the Chief Medical Officer to help in the negotiations as a matter of priority, but we are on the verge of a breakthrough which will make new meningococcal treatment available to all young Australians. It’s a very exciting moment.

There’s a little bit more work to do, but the signs are good.

JOURNALIST:
Is the Liberal Party on the nose in WA until the GST imbalance is fixed?

GREG HUNT:
Well, I think that what we have to do is just work collaboratively and constructively with Western Australia.

I know the Prime Minister, the Treasurer, and the Finance Minister are looking at this as a priority. They will come up with a solution ultimately and I’m very confident that we’ll be able to do what the Labor Party couldn’t do, because only good finances allow us to have good results with each state.

(ENDS)

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