Holistic local sustainability; food, water, energy, money, people
Surf life savers have reported a major spike in rescues and drownings. This year has seen about a third of the annual total in a matter of weeks, mostly at unpatrolled beaches. Thank you ABC for this timely report, warning people to be careful and providing a few helpful hints.
BUT, explaining it as “people coming out of COVID” and the annual seasonal pattern is grossly incompetent journalism.
We cannot understand what’s going on without mentioning our rising population of people mainly from overseas, who we know are less familiar with swimming and water than the average Aussie. That’s why we punch above our weight in wimming at the Olympics. “Surf life savers are stretched,” it says. No mention of whether or not their service has received more funding and expanded to meet a growing population. No mention of whether the higher numbers match the increase in population or the spike goes beyond that, indicating something more is going on. Giving stats on the swimming skills of school leavers and the general public without comparing them over time is useless to understanding patterns and trends.
ABC, you should be ashamed for ignoring population growth.