The Victorian Government has extended the deadline for the mandatory registration of private pools and spas due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Private pool and spa owners now have until 1 November 2020 to register their pools with council – an extension of five months from the original 1 June deadline.
The new deadline is an acknowledgement of the extra pressure on families and the increased workload on councils due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most drowning deaths of children under five happen in home swimming pools – since 2000, 27 young children have drowned in private pools and spas in Victoria.
The Coroner found in at least 20 of these cases the safety barrier was non-compliant, and this is likely to have played a role in the deaths.
The Government introduced new regulations in December 2019 to make swimming pools and spas safer and prevent young children from drowning.
These changes require owners to register their pools and spas with council, with a one-off fee of up to $79.
Once registration is complete, council will inform the pool owner of the date by which they must organise their first inspection and certification of their barrier. The deadline for owners to lodge their first barrier certification has also been extended.
Owners must also have a registered building surveyor or inspector certify the continuing compliance of their safety barrier every four years.
Owners who fail to register their pool or spa with council by 1 November 2020 may face an on-the-spot fine of $330.