Letters to the editor

Don't wait until summer to check the safety of your pools, Justin Scarr, CEO of the
Royal Life Saving Society - Australia says.
Don't wait until summer to check the safety of your pools, Justin Scarr, CEO of the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia says.

Leading cause of accidental deaths

I write to you as the CEO of Royal Life Saving Society – Australia with a very important message for all parents and carers.

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental deaths of children under the age of five. Tragically the majority of these deaths occur at home in swimming pools.

I wish to highlight that faulty pool fencing and gates are a major contributing factor in the rate of drowning in backyard swimming pools amongst children under 5 years of age.

You can make your home safer by regularly checking your pool fence and gate to make sure they’re in working order.

Royal Life Saving has a free home pool safety checklist that you can download from www.royallifesaving.com.au and conduct a self-assessment of your pool and surrounds. This should not be a substitute for a pool inspection.

Don’t wait until summer. Check your pool fence and gate this weekend, and make sure it’s compliant with your local Council regulations.

Safety starts at home. If you have a pool please download Royal Life Saving’s pool safety checklist and always keep watch of children around water.

Justin Scarr,


Royal Life Saving Society - Australia

Family history

I am researching my wife’s family history and unfortunately, the people who are concerned with this enquiry are now dead.

There is a family story of the death of a Frank Rooney who was a pilot and who was killed in the floods in your area in 1950.

His death notice is in the NSW BDM records is:

Francis James Rooney

Record No 18914/1950

Son of Francis James (Rooney) and Margaret Mary at Canowindra

I have tried searching online without success.

If anyone can help with information, email normch@outlook.com.au

Norman Harland

3/25 Werona Crescent

Valentine, NSW

Troop visit

There are more than 80,000 men and women of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who put on our nation’s uniform and are prepared to place themselves in harm’s way to help others who can’t necessarily help themselves.

On a recent visit to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, I had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of ADF personnel involved in training and advising local security forces.

I met some of Australia’s finest young men and women, pulled together from every corner of the country and united with a great sense of patriotism and purpose to their lives.

On every occasion, I passed on one message from the Australian people: ‘thank you for your service’. It’s a simple phrase but it can mean a lot when you are spending months away from your loved ones; working in 50 degree heat; concerned for your personal safety; and removed from the simple pleasures of Australian life.

Caring for our veterans and their families is the best way to honour the service and sacrifice of all those men and women who have served our nation in uniform over the past century.

It is also the best way to ensure that their legacy endures and is never forgotten.

But perhaps we need to put aside some of our normally reserved Australian nature and publicly recognise our service personnel and their families beyond ANZAC Day.

A simple message of ‘thank you for your service’ each time you meet someone in a military uniform is a good start. 

The Hon Darren Chester MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC