Yes, A Politician Went Ahead And Linked Child Drownings And Renewable Energy

    tl;dr renewable energy > higher electricity prices > more expensive to run pools > fewer swimming lessons > more drownings.

    Liberal MP Craig Kelly has linked renewable energy policies, including Labor's carbon tax, to child drownings.

    ParlView / Getty

    The backbencher, who was speaking in parliament during a motion on the number of child drownings in Australia, said renewable energy policies would drive up the cost of electricity, which meant public pools would raise the prices of swimming lessons and therefore fewer children would be taught to swim.

    "We cannot ignore that 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 swimming lessons. That is a fact," said Kelly, to howls of condemnation from the opposition.

    Kelly cited a local swimming centre operator who had complained to him about the cost of electricity under the previous government.

    "He looked at the increases that were projected on electricity costs and he projected under previous policies if we allowed electricity costs to increase in this country, he would be paying... an extra $100,000 in electricity costs up to the year 2020."

    The MP also blamed government housing policies, which he said saw more families living in apartments without backyard pools.

    ParlView

    "I think of my experience growing up in Peakhurst, just a middle class suburb in the south of Sydney, many neighbours had the simple backyard swimming pools, above the ground… and we learned to swim."

    "That opportunity will be denied to thousands and thousands of young kids because of the change of housing policy in this nation where more and more children will be growing up in high rise apartments."

    A Royal Lifesaving report showed 280 people drowned in 2015-16, which is slightly down on the national 10-year trend.

    According to a recent parliamentary briefing, electricity costs for businesses have increased by as much as 60% over the last decade, and while state renewable programs are cited as one reason for the increase, the cost of transporting energy and wholesale costs were also a major contributing factor.

    Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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