Tougher rules on pool fencing
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.