Penrith’s Safest Summer: Western Weekender launches special safety initiative

Julie Sheldrake from Nepean Aquatic Centre. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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The Western Weekender today launches a major initiative aimed at encouraging and promoting safety in the area this summer.

‘Penrith’s Safest Summer’ launches following a number of summer tragedies in recent years, including the death of a woman on the Nepean River on Australia Day earlier this year.

With COVID restrictions now gone and many holidays on hold due to cost-of-living pressures, this is expected to be one of the busiest summers Penrith has ever seen with locals flocking to the Nepean River as well as enjoying backyard pools, and heading for road trips to the beach.

The Weekender alongside Penrith City Council, Nepean Aquatic Centre and Aqua Clear will present a 14-week series, starting in today’s print edition, aimed at promoting safety and offering a weekly reminder of the need to be cautious when out and about this summer.

Pool gate safety is in focus as swim season returns.

Nepean Aquatic Centre’s Julie Sheldrake said it’s an important initiative.

“We are very supportive of the Western Weekender’s Penrith’s Safest Summer initiative, as swim safety is of utmost importance in our society, and is at the heart of everything we do at our Swim Centres,” she said.

“We are a nation that lives by, and loves, the water, however 339 Australians lost their lives last year to drowning, with a further 686 people experiencing a non-fatal drowning incident, often with ongoing severe health and quality of life repercussions.

“This increased drowning number is especially confronting as it represents a reversal of years of progress, and there is much that we can do to prevent further lives being lost.”

Ms Sheldrake said it was important to follow safety advice and be prepared this summer.

“Education is key, and we look forward to being a part of this fantastic educational initiative in conjunction with all other participants,” she said.

“Let’s work together as a community to keep Penrith safer this summer!”

Locals are expected to be out at rivers, pools and beaches over the summer.

Western Weekender Managing Editor, Troy Dodds, said: “We are the biggest voice in the community, and across print, social and digital, we feel we have a responsibility to ensure everyone has a wonderful summer with safety front of mind. We look forward to presenting this initiative over the next three months, and we are confident it will make a real difference.”

See the Penrith’s Safest Summer supplement in the print edition of the Western Weekender every week from November 4 until the end of summer.

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