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MP links carbon tax to drowning deaths

AAP logoAAP 6/11/2016 Roje Adaimy

A Liberal backbencher has linked the now-scrapped carbon tax with water safety and the rate of children drowning.

Craig Kelly, speaking on a recent report about drowning deaths in Australia on Monday, said electricity was a big cost for swimming centre operators.

The owner of an indoor centre in his southern Sydney electorate told him he would be paying an extra $100,000 by 2020 "under previous policies" - alluding to the previous Labor government's carbon tax.

"We cannot ignore the fact in this parliament that there are policies being put in by governments - both state and federal - that are increasing the costs of electricity, and by doing so we increase the cost of kids' swimming lessons," Mr Kelly told parliament.

"I want to see more kids in this country getting the opportunity to have swimming lessons, and if we have policies that increase the cost of electricity ... we push the cost up and we make it harder and harder for kids."

Labor MP Steve Georganas criticised the Member for Hughes for connecting the issues.

"I think it's an absolute disgrace that we bring in some form of politicking on such a serious issue," he said.

Royal Life Saving's latest National Drowning Report recorded 280 drowning deaths in 2015-16, up from 267 the year prior.

There was, however, a 30 per cent drop in the number of infants aged under four who died.

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