Aquatics and Commercial

Poolies have last chance to comment on Practice Note 15

May 30, 2017

Following the recent Country Pool Managers Conference (CPMC) the Office of Local Government (OLG) has reloaded the link to the survey on Practice Note 15 – but be quick if you want to comment, it’s only up until June 3.

The 21st CPMC was recently held in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, with one of the most popular presentations coming from OLG senior policy officer Matthew Dimmock.

In his presentation, he discussed the Practice Note 15 (PN15) survey.

PN15 is a guide to assist councils in NSW to carry out their water safety functions and responsibilities in public places, including in public swimming pools.

The PN15 survey had been sent to 113 local councils and the OLG received 65 replies.

Who completed the survey?

However, CPMC organiser Kerry Lynch wondered who had actually filled out the forms, and asked if anyone in the audience had done so. Of the 110 poolies present, only 10 had seen the form and completed it.

“So who had completed the survey for them?” asks Lynch. “It was handled by the council recreation managers or whoever without consultation with the staff.”

Lynch says the link was sent to the general manager and he or she may have passed it onto someone else to action, or it may have languished, but it clearly didn’t get into the hands of the pool staff.

“The good part is that the OLG responded and they’ve opened the link up again. This was one of the more satisfying results to come out of conference,” he says. “A lot of the time they say they consulted with industry, but we don’t know who is giving feedback on behalf of the industry.”

Online identity and bullying

The other presentation that got everyone very interested was the online security advice from the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

“The AFP talked to us about protecting online identity. These guys really opened up our eyes about what’s happening in the cyber world, and most of us dinosaurs didn’t know much about it before. There was plenty of practical advice such as making sure you have passwords with different numbers and characters, and not something simple – something you can change on a regular basis.”

Bullying was also canvassed by a legal expert.

“Dominic Longhurst from a law firm in Sydney did a presentation on bullying and harassment. One of the important things he mentioned was that if you’re being bullied or harassed you must follow the company’s bullying and harassment procedures. If you don’t – even if there’s plenty of evidence – any action is unlikely to be successful.”

Good numbers

Lynch says the numbers were slightly higher than last year with 170 people registered including the trades, and having about 80 people turning up for the training session with John McKenny and AustSwim’s Robyn Larkham.

He says that one of the reasons they like to get new people to put their hands up and host is that it brings new people in, and this year they had more than a dozen new delegates.

“We had a lot of really good feedback from the new delegates who hadn’t been before and good feedback from the trades, who we can’t do without. We need the trades and sponsors as well as the delegates to make it successful,” he says.

He says they always try to get one or two new things to display, and one of the new ones this year was showcasing temporary structures over swimming pools.

Next year’s Country Pool Managers Conference will be held at Nambucca Heads from May 16 to May 18.


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