Pool owners warned: comply or face fines

17 March 2016

Swimart national manager Chris Fitzmaurice has urged pool and spa owners in NSW to ensure their safety fences meet registration and certification standards before new legislation comes into effect on April 29.

Pool Owners Warned: Comply or Face Fines

New pool fencing laws mean businessMr Fitzmaurice says householders who do not have appropriate safety fences are increasingly likely to be caught and fined, as councils conduct a compliance blitz ahead of next month's deadline.

"Councils are spot checking all pools ahead of changes to pool fencing legislation that will come into effect on April 29 as part of the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012," he says. “The enactment of the certification requirement is the last of several staged amendments to the Swimming Pools Act aimed at increasing the safety of very young children around backyard swimming pools and reducing associated drowning and near-drowning incidents.”

In particular, the Act has been strengthened to ensure a greater degree of compliance with the child-resistant barrier requirements of the Act. The other amendments, which are already in force, include the development and implementation of the Swimming Pools Register and the development of council inspection programs. The new legislation requires all properties in NSW with a swimming pool or spa to have a valid certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate before they can be sold or leased.

Mr Fitzmaurice welcomed the change, saying it would help to save children’s lives. “Drowning is a leading cause of preventable death in children under five years of age,” he said. “A pool fence that is designed, installed and maintained to comply with Australian standards will go a long way to prevent a tragedy.”

The legislation requires pool owners to register their pools on a new state-wide online register, while councils have developed swimming pool inspection programs to ensure compliance. Failure to register could result in a fine.

“Local councils and accredited certifiers can carry out a swimming pool barrier inspection and issue a certificate of compliance,” Mr Fitzmaurice said. “These certificates are valid for three years.”

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