With summer fast approaching, the Victorian Government is reminding pool owners they only have until November to register their private pool or spa.
The Government introduced new regulations in December last year to make swimming pools and spas safer and prevent young children from drowning.
The regulations include new requirements for owners to register their swimming pools and spas with their local council by 1 November 2020 with a one-off fee of up to $79. Failure to register within this timeframe may attract a council infringement notice of up to $330.
Due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) the deadline for registration was extended by five months to acknowledge the extra pressure on families and the increased workload on councils.
Drowning is the most common cause of preventable death for young children and in Victoria most fatal drownings of young children occur in backyard swimming pools.
Since 2000, 27 children have drowned in private swimming pools and spas in Victoria. Investigations by the Victorian Coroner found non-compliant safety barriers were likely to have played a role in at least 20 of these cases.
Pool owners who complete their registration will be contacted by their local council and informed of how they can organise an inspection of their safety barrier by a registered practitioner and for a compliance certificate to be lodged.
Owners must have a registered building surveyor or inspector certify the continuing compliance of their safety barrier every four years.
Approximately 100,000 private spas and pools have so far been registered, representing about 45 per cent of the estimated 220,000 pools and spas across Victoria.
This figure is based on only 46 of 79 councils responding to a Victoria Municipal Building Surveyors Group survey so the overall figure may be higher.
For more information on the Victorian Government’s pool safety reforms, visit vba.vic.gov.au.
As stated by Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“We understand there have been many challenges for families this year but these regulations are about saving children’s lives and all owners have a responsibility to make their pool safe.”
“Non-compliant pool safety barriers are contributing to the deaths of too many of our kids – this is a small ask with life-saving consequences.”