The Victorian Minister for Planning Matthew Guy is considering a raft of pool safety proposals following the Kids and Pools Safety Summit in July which comprised a range of industry, stakeholder and government agencies including SPASA Victoria.
Five key ideas were discussed and are on the table:
• Mandatory safety barrier inspections (within the range of every two to three years)
• Increased labelling obligations around inflatable/portable pools and spas
• Awareness campaigns
• Mandatory CPR charts.
Guy says the views from the summit will be used to further develop and refine any proposed reforms and that further consultation with government agencies and industry bodies will be required before any legislative change can be introduced.
SPASA Victoria was represented by Lindsay Hartshorne and Brendan Watkins. Watkins says that every pool and spa in Victoria requires a compliant safety barrier and there are no exceptions and no “loopholes”. All older pools and spas (even those built pre-regulation) must have a compliant barrier.
Regulation 5.13 of the Building Regulation (1994) requires existing swimming pools constructed prior to 8 April 1991 to provide a safety barrier. This Regulation commenced on July 1, 1994. Any new pool constructed after 8 April 1991 requires a safety barrier in accordance with the BCA.
He also issued a strong recommendation that if any builder or technician sees a pool that is non-compliant to let the owner know in writing.