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Russel Northe MLA:
Indoor Swimming Lessons and in Limbo

Review of COVID-19 restrictions wanted for impeding the delivery of swimming lessons for children in Regional Victoria.

By Portal Admin - 22nd September 2020 - Back to News

Member for Morwell, Russell Northe has submitted a speech in State Parliament today that calls upon the State Government to urgently review the COVID-19 restrictions that are impeding the delivery of swimming lessons for children in Regional Victoria.

"I have been contacted by many concerned members of the community that infant and childhood swimming lessons have been suspended for a number of months due to the directive that indoor swimming pools are to be closed" Mr Northe began.

"Swimming is a vital life skill for Australian children and there have been serious disruptions to their learning in 2020. I have heard from parents and educators across the Latrobe Valley who are very worried about this situation" Mr Northe said.

As a part of the Governments Regional Victorian pathway to COVID normal, indoor pools are not able to reopen until the Last step of the road to recovery.

"Despite outdoor pools in Regional Victoria now being open under the Third Step of the Roadmap, indoor pools remain closed for the purposes of important childhood swimming lessons which makes no logical sense" Mr Northe continued.

"Tragically, far too many Victorians still lose their lives to drowning incidents and its imperative that the delivery of swimming lessons are not delayed or compromised, particularly as we enter the summer period and whereby water related accidents escalate" Mr Northe said.

"Unfortunately, swimming is not the only activity with a question mark over their heads. When one looks at dance, gymnastics and gymnasium activities the guidance within the Third Step measures are ambiguous to say the least" said Mr Northe.

  • Fitness or dance classes (including classes associated with gyms)
    • Open for outdoor classes, up to 10 people, trainer not included in cap
    • Indoors: open but heavily restricted
  • closed for indoor operations, but can conduct classes outdoors with no shared equipment
  • open for recording and broadcast permitted only with minimum number of people required to conduct the recording/streaming, up to 5 people.

"How one is supposed to interpret what is allowable when one line of the rules suggests that "indoors: open but heavily restricted" whilst the next line says "closed for indoor operations" is anyones guess", said Mr Northe.

"Owners and operators of businesses delivering the activities as mentioned above firmly believe they can provide services to their children and students in a COVID safe manner as they have done previously and I absolutely agree with them" Mr Northe concluded.


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