PLAY SAFE, STAY SAFE CAMPAIGN
The Hon. RICK COLLESS:
My question is directed to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. What is the NSW Police Force doing to educate the people of New South Wales about keeping safe over the summer months?
The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER:
I thank the member for his interest in this important issue. Warmer weather and summer holidays give us the opportunity to take part in a host of leisure activities outside the home, whether it is fishing in a tinny, catching waves at the beach, Christmas shopping, driving across the State to visit relatives or wining and dining with friends. These are great ways to spend one's leisure time but they are not without risk. I will not say that we are a nanny State; nor are our police the fun police. However, we need to draw to the attention of the public the need to ensure that there is a public education campaign about being safe in our community. The police initiative is called "Play Safe, Stay Safe" and it is aimed at reminding people to think ahead and plan wisely when pursuing their summertime leisure activities.
Introducing the campaign, Commissioner Scipione said that the summer safety messages are not just aimed at young people but are for everyone. Nor is the campaign just about advising people about overindulging in alcohol but, rather—to quote the commissioner—"making good decisions to avoid putting yourself, your family or your friends in danger. It's about enjoying yourself without the burden of regret". The results of risk taking and making poor decisions in summer pursuits can lead to injury and, sadly, death. The theme of the Play Safe, Stay Safe campaign is plan ahead, talk to your family and friends about what you are doing and where you are going. You can have fun without putting yourself or others in dangerous situation.
In the coming months police will be focusing on formals and schoolies, boat safety and rock fishing, beach safety and security, road safety, shopping security, including skimming scams and bag snatchers, holiday home security, hot weather issues such as children and pets left unattended in cars—I am sure the Hon. Walt Secord is interested in that issue—and fire risks. The Play Safe, Stay Safe messages will be delivered through YouTube and social media means. The commissioner has asked television and radio stations across the State to run his message as public service announcements. I strongly endorse this request. I ask all electronic media outlets to do the right thing and join the NSW Police Force in reminding their viewers and listeners to be careful and plan ahead in their summer leisure activities.
The message of the campaign is: As the warm weather approaches, look after yourself and those you care about. It is a simple message but it is all-too-often forgotten as we see every year reports of largely avoidable summer tragedies, such as boating accidents, children drowning in backyard pools, families killed in head-on collisions, bushfires caused by someone's carelessness, teenagers bashed during drunken fights and so on. In conclusion, I quote the following sobering words of Commissioner Andrew Scipione:
All too often my officers prepare reports for the Coroner about motorists who have died in crashes, people who died through misadventure, or those who have made the wrong decision.
At this time of the year, with the warm weather, we should be enjoying ourselves and experiencing the great State we live in, not enduring heartache and mourning the loss of our family and friends.
The New South Wales Liberal-Nationals Government fully supports police in this important campaign. I am sure that all members strongly endorse the commissioner's sensible message of "Play Safe, Stay Safe".