Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay today kicked off the state’s first roving lifejacket stand.
Minister Gay said the lifejacket van, believed to be the first initiative of its kind in the country has begun touring popular boat ramps giving people the chance to swap their old lifejackets for new ones.
'The aim of the ‘Old 4 New’ initiative is to increase awareness of new generation lifejackets that can be worn in comfort all day,' Minister Gay said. 'Our ‘Old 4 New’ van is making more than 100 visits to boat ramps on the coast and inland, between now and the end of the boating season in April.
'We’re talking to boaters just as they’re about to get on the water, giving them the opportunity to exchange their old lifejackets - for a discount off new ones.
'People need to make putting on a lifejacket a habit, a bit like putting on sunscreen, because one day it might just save your life.
'To help with the education campaign we have created new roles for Boating Education Officers to be based all over the state at popular boating locations from later this month. There will be 18 Officers visiting boat ramps, going out on the water, visiting schools and attending community events to educate as many people as possible this boating season.
'We are also recruiting six more Boating Safety Officers (BSO) to help boost lifejacket compliance rates, especially in regional NSW.
'This takes the total number of BSO’s in NSW to almost 70 which means boaters have an even stronger chance of been seen if they are not wearing a lifejacket out on the water.
'Almost two million people go boating in NSW each year and we’ve said all along that safety initiatives that help reinforce the importance of wearing lifejackets are absolutely paramount,' Minister Gay said.
For further information on the lifejacket promotional vehicle visit lifejacketwearit.com.au
To find out where the van will be over the next month or so visit www.lifejacketwearit.com.au/about-lifejackets/old4new-upgrade/