Tougher rules on pool fenc­ing

Herald Sun - - NEWS - JOHN MASANAUSKAS AND TAM­SIN ROSE [email protected]

VIC­TO­RI­ANS have been re­minded to check on their back­yard pool and spa fences ahead of tough new rules be­ing in­tro­duced next year to pro­mote safety.

The Vic­to­rian Build­ing Au­thor­ity has pre­pared a vol­un­tary reg­is­ter and new self­assess­ment tool for own­ers to check their fences, with a manda­tory reg­is­ter to be in­tro­duced from De­cem­ber 2019.

Reg­u­lar pool and spa bar­rier in­spec­tions will start hap­pen­ing from that time.

Plan­ning Min­is­ter Richard Wynne said leg­is­la­tion passed re­cently was a key move to­wards bet­ter pro­tec­tion for chil­dren against the dan­gers of poorly main­tained bar­ri­ers.

“While the new in­spec­tion regime is more than a year away, own­ers who seek cer­tifi­cates of com­pli­ance this sum­mer from reg­is­tered in­spec­tors will give them­selves time to ad­dress fenc­ing is­sues be­fore the new in­spec­tion regime kicks in,” he said.

“For the first time in Vic­to­ria’s his­tory we will have a com­plete data­base of all pools and spas, and a ded­i­cated in­spec­tion process to en­sure fences are main­tained. This is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant for fam­i­lies with young chil­dren.”

VBA chief ex­ec­u­tive Sue Eddy said: “We en­cour­age all pool own­ers to reg­is­ter their pools as soon as pos­si­ble and to use the self-assess­ment tool to en­sure they have the best pool safety mea­sures pro­tect­ing their fam­i­lies.’’

Kid­safe Vic­to­ria manag­ing di­rec­tor Ja­son Cham­bers warned that chil­dren drowned quickly and silently.

“To­gether with a com­pli­ant pool bar­rier, it is im­por­tant that chil­dren are al­ways ac­tively su­per­vised by an adult when in and around water to help keep them safe,” he said.

The moves come as a 15month-old girl died in Euroa af­ter emer­gency ser­vices were called to a drown­ing on Thurs­day night.

Of­fi­cers at­tempted to save the baby but she could not be re­vived. The death is not be­ing treated as sus­pi­cious and po­lice will pre­pare a re­port for the Coro­ner.

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