Jack Taylor Weir the focus of new hip hop music video

08 Dec 2017

A hip hop music video featuring local students and community members has been filmed in St George to spread the message about weir safety, following an incident that nearly cost a family four young lives.

The distressing incident at Jack Taylor Weir occurred earlier this year when a number of young men were pinned under the water trying to save a young relative who was swimming near the weir gates.

Regional water supply company SunWater which owns and operates the weir commissioned Melbourne-based performing artists Indigenous HIP HOP Projects to collaborate with the local community to write, record and shoot the ‘Respect the Water’ music video.

Indigenous HIP HOP projects guided the St George community through an intensive week-long creative process. The video was filmed over two days and features iconic locations across St George the Roe Street skate park, St George oval, Victoria Street and a cameo of the infamous St George bakery car.

SunWater Chief Executive Officer Ms Nicole Hollows says the video is part of a broader community education program and a reminder leading into summer that taking risks around water infrastructure is dangerous no matter what your age or swimming ability.

“The young men who risked their lives to rescue their relative at Jack Taylor Weir were strong, confident swimmers, but were quickly pinned down by washing machine-effect of the water releasing from the gates,” Ms Hollows said.

“When water is released from a weir into the downstream concrete ‘pool’, known as a dissipater, it is designed to become aerated to minimise the force of the water as it passes downstream.

“If you try and swim in aerated water you will no longer have buoyancy and quickly sink - and most likely to be pinned under water, like the young men earlier this year endured. It would be a terrifying experience,” she said.

Ms Hollows said SunWater has signage, fencing and safety education programs to warn people of the dangers of trespassing but wanted to engage the local community in a creative solution that would resonate with people on a different level.

“We’re delighted to be able to work with the family and this community to turn what has been a traumatic experience into a positive initiative,” she said.

“The issue of trespassing and taking risks at water infrastructure is certainly not isolated to Jack Taylor Weir.

“Together with the family and local community we hope their story will reach beyond St George to other regional communities across Queensland and Australia.”

The Respect the Water music video is available on the SunWater website at: http://www.sunwater.com.au/sustainability/water-safety

When enjoying SunWater dams and weirs remember:

  • Keep at least 200 metres away from dam and weir walls or outside the buoy line upstream of the wall.
  • Read the signs — they contain important information about water, recreational activities, potential hazards, blue-green algae levels and no-go zones.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings — fast flowing water can be released suddenly from a dam, or weir and can knock you off your feet and pin you underwater.
  • Beware of hazards — beware of hidden dangers such as logs, pipes and rocks under the water surface and watch out for uneven and slippery ground. Submerged hazards can be exposed at different water levels.

Media Enquiries

SunWater Media Team
Phone: +61 7 3120 0047
Email: media@sunwater.com.au

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