Aquatics and Commercial

Family backyard swimming lessons safeguarded in new amendment

February 14, 2018

The NSW Public Health Act 2010 Statutory Review Discussion Paper included the following recommendation relating to public swimming pools and spa pools:

“The Act should be amended to clarify that the definition of a public swimming pool applies to a pool in residential premises used by members of the public for swimming lessons.”

This had the potential to include mums and dads who want an instructor to come to their home to teach their children – and possibly some neighbourhood children at the same time. SPASA Australia lobbied strongly to have clarity around this amendment.

While it is appropriate that businesses running swimming schools on their private property be brought under the mantle of a public pool, SPASA was concerned it may have the unintended consequence of adding additional red tape and cost to ordinary mums and dads. This was especially concerning given the debate about declining school swimming lessons, and the result that many parents may want to ensure their children learn to swim by taking control themselves.

The Public Health Amendment (Review) Act 2017 now clarifies that public swimming pools include pools on private premises that are used for commercial purpose. This does not include backyard pools used for private lessons such as where a homeowner hires a swim teacher to teach their child to swim in their pool.

The Regulation will commence 1 April 2018.

CEO Lindsay McGrath says he is pleased the NSW Department of Health listened to SPASA’s concerns.

“Clarifying the intent not to capture mum and dad pools used for swimming lessons is a huge win that has prevented the average cost for a residential pool and spa increasing by at least 35 per cent and costing the industry millions of dollars in lost revenue whilst also impacting the ability for children to learn to swim in their own backyards under swim coach supervision,” he says.



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