One week to go: Victorian pool and spa registrations due by November 1
Leading law firm Maurice Blackburn is reminding Victorians to register their pools and spas before the end of the week, or risk an on-the-spot fine of up to $330.
With summer approaching, Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer Dimi Ioannou is also urging pool and spa owners to ensure their barriers and fences meet safety standards.
“Victorians need to register their pool or spa with their local council before November 1. It could literally save a child’s life,” Ms Ioannou said.
“As we head into the warmer months, we’re also urging Victorian pool and spa owners to arrange a qualified person to check if their barriers meet safety standards.”
Under new Victorian laws that came into effect in December 2019, all pools and spas must be registered, and the safety barriers inspected every four years.
According to the Victorian Building Authority, an average of four young children die in home swimming pools or spas each year in Victoria.
Many more are taken to hospital for near drownings, which can leave children with severe and lifelong injuries.
Maurice Blackburn has represented a number of families who have experienced the death or injury of a family member in pool-related incidents.
“Too many Victorian families have lived through the heartbreak of losing a child in a drowning tragedy,” Ms Ioannou said.
“Many families have also endured the hidden toll of near-drownings, which can lead to devastating injuries that require a lifetime of care and treatment.”
Ms Ioannou said it was crucial that all Victorians prioritised water safety, noting that many children have missed out on months of swimming lessons due to COVID restrictions.
“We encourage families to remain vigilant about safety around backyard pools and spas, and to make sure there is adult supervision of children at all times.”
Ms Ioannou also encouraged councils to offer education and assistance to residents about pool safety and maintenance in line with a recent coronial recommendation following the drowning of a Melbourne toddler in a backyard pool.