In an effort to stop people, particularly children, drowning or being injured in backyard pools and spas, the Victorian government last week introduced new laws requiring pools and spas to be registered with Council.
Murrindindi Shire Council Infrastructure Portfolio Councillor, Eric Lording said since 2000, 27 children have drowned in private swimming pools and spas. In at least 20 of those cases, the non-compliance of the safety barrier is likely to have played a role.
‘As part of the new regulations, the safety barriers around all permanent and most relocatable pools (excluding inflatable ones with up to 30cm of water in them) and spas must be inspected every four years to ensure they meet safety standards. The registration fee, set by the Victorian Government and paid at the time of registration with Council, is $31.84,” Cr Lording said.
‘There are three types of compliance certification. The year your pool was built determines which compliance certification applies to your property. If you don’t know when your pool was built, Council can help. We can go through our old records – aerial photographs and building permits for example – to see if we can get an approximate timeframe for you. As this requires a fair bit of work at our end, there is a search fee of $47.24 in place.’
‘Pools and spas constructed prior to June 1994 must have their inspection and certificate of compliance by 1 June 2021, while pools and spas constructed between June 1994 and April 2010 need to have been through the process by 1 June 2022. Pools and spas constructed after May 2010 will have until 1 June 2023 to comply. Once your pool has been inspected, you will have up to 60 days to rectify any problems (non-compliance) with the barrier.’
‘This inspection and certification process is the next step after registering your pool or spa with Council, which must be done by June 2020.’
‘We understand that some property owners might find this new requirement a bit inconvenient or be worried because they built or installed their pool and/or spa barrier without the necessary building permits. At the end of the day, Council just wants all pools to be safe, so in an effort to make complying with the new Victorian Government regulation to register your pool or spa and barrier with Council, we offering barrier permits for $280,’ Cr Lording said.
‘If a property owner doesn’t register their pool or spa, Council may choose to issue a building infringement penalty notice. So I encourage local pool and spa owners to give us a ring and we can work together to get you compliant.’
‘I think we’re all on the same page about making swimming in Murrindindi Shire as safe as it can be,’ Cr Lording said.