Pool safety laws

Isis Town and Country - - Sport -

AS WE head into sum­mer, Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett is re­mind­ing pool own­ers they have less than two weeks to en­sure their pool fences meet new safety stan­dards.

Mr Ben­nett said the new safety laws were phased in over the past five years to crack down on pool fenc­ing and pro­tect Queens­lan­ders from drown­ing, par­tic­u­larly chil­dren un­der five years of age.

He warned that all pools, in­clud­ing spas and some por­ta­ble pools, must meet the State Gov­ern­ment sin­gle swim­ming pool bar­rier safety stan­dard by Novem­ber 30, or own­ers would face penal­ties.

“The new pool safety stan­dard was in­tro­duced back in 2010 and house­hold­ers were given a five-year grace pe­riod to en­sure their pools were up to the stan­dard. The grace pe­riod will run out in just un­der two weeks,” he said.

The sin­gle stan­dard is de­signed to in­crease pool safety and sim­plify pool safety laws, which pre­vi­ously in­cluded 11 dif­fer­ent safety stan­dards.

The sin­gle stan­dard cov­ers such things as the height and strength of bar­ri­ers, manda­tory non-climbable ar­eas, gate-latch­ing re­quire­ments and pre­vent­ing direct ac­cess from a build­ing into a pool area.

Mr Ben­nett en­cour­aged pool own­ers to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the pool safety stan­dard and en­gage a li­censed pool safety in­spec­tor to con­duct a full safety au­dit.

“This time of year is a timely re­minder to par­ents that back­yard swim­ming pools pose an enor­mous threat to chil­dren and it’s im­por­tant to re­main vig­i­lant,” he said.

Child drown­ings are one of the lead­ing causes of death in Queens­land for chil­dren un­der five.

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