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Industry Update – Pool Fencing Laws

03 March 2011 swimart

Industry Update – Pool Fencing Laws

National Pool Fencing Laws On The Horizon

Coordinated approach welcomed by Royal Life Saving and the wider swimming pool industry

Backyard pool fencing may soon have to comply with national standards, in a move which has been welcomed as long overdue by Royal Life Saving and the wider swimming pool industry.

In a decision which will potentially have the biggest impact on pool safety since pool fencing legislation was introduced over 20 years ago, the Federal Sport and Recreation Minister’s Council (SRMC) has agreed to develop nationally consistent home pool fencing legislation.

Despite ongoing pool safety awareness campaigns, research indicates as many as 85% of home pools are either not fenced at all or are non-compliant with safety requirements. There is also great confusion amongst pool owners, local councils, real estate agents, manufacturers and equipment suppliers and installers about which parts of current legislation apply to their local area.

"Establishing one nationally consistent approach will make life much better for everybody involved. It will ensure pool owners can provide a safer and more secure environment for young children. This will then provide the clear best practice for manufacturers, builders and installers of pools, pool fences, latches and gates,” says CEO of Royal Life Saving Rob Bradley.

"The Queensland Government has led the way on this important issue in recent years and has implemented a range of measures including the requirement for pools to be certified when the pool is first installed and when a house with pool is sold or rented. Fines are also imposed for non-compliant pools when owners refuse to do the right thing,” he adds.

Royal Life Saving and other members of the Australian Water Safety Council are now looking forward to working with the Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport (SCORS) government working party over the coming months to develop the consistent best practice approach.

The Australian Water Safety Council will also work with the SCORS improving standards for learn to swim teachers, professional practice and programs.