Big tick for City over pool safety

Southern Telegraph - - News - Stu­art Hor­ton

The City of Rock­ing­ham is not among the met­ro­pol­i­tan lo­cal gov­ern­ments work­ing to clear a back­log of in­spec­tions of pri­vate pool safety bar­ri­ers in the wake of an Om­buds­man WA re­port on child drown­ing.

WA coun­cils are re­quired by law to in­spect pri­vate pools in their ju­ris­dic­tion at least once ev­ery four years to en­sure they have com­ply­ing fences or other safety bar­ri­ers. The Build­ing Com­mis- sioner is gaug­ing the progress of lo­cal coun­cils in ad­dress­ing the back­log of in­spec­tions, with an in­au­gu­ral progress re­port, re­leased last week, find­ing that as of June 30, the num­ber of over­due pri­vate pool in­spec­tions in WA was 3632, down from 8639 in June, 2015.

The City of Rock­ing­ham has the fourth-high­est num­ber of swim­ming pools among met­ro­pol­i­tan lo­cal gov­ern­ments with 9406, but the City had no over­due in­spec­tions of a re­quired 2840 in the com­mis­sioner’s re­port. Mayor Barry Sam­mels said the City took its re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­spect pri­vate swim­ming pool bar­ri­ers very se­ri­ously and by en­sur­ing res­i­dents com­plied with leg­is­la­tion it could help pro­tect the safety of young chil­dren and re­duce the risk of drown­ing.

“It is fan­tas­tic to see our com­pli­ance teams con­tinue to take pool safety so se­ri­ously,” he said.

“The City strives to be proac­tive in car­ry­ing out in­spec­tions so that res­i­dents across the com­mu­nity are safe around pools and spas.”

Build­ing Com­mis­sioner Ken Bowron re­minded the com­mu­nity all pri­vate swim­ming and spa pools con­tain­ing wa­ter more than 30cm deep must have a safety bar­rier that com­plied with the laws and re­stricted ac­cess to young chil­dren.

Eigh­teen chil­dren un­der five drowned in Aus­tralia in 2017-18 and of these cases, two-thirds in­volved swim­ming pools.

“While there’s no sub­sti­tute for close su­per­vi­sion of chil­dren around wa­ter, there’s also no doubt that com­ply­ing pool safety bar- ri­ers save lives,” Mr Bowron said.

“If you have con­cerns about whether your bar­rier com­plies with the rules, con­tact your lo­cal gov­ern­ment in the first in­stance.”

The City of Kwinana had just three over­due in­spec­tions of its 377 re­quired in 2017-18. The City of Cock­burn had 1463 over­due in­spec­tions from a re­quired 2219.

The City of Joon­dalup, which has the most pools at 22,294 had 41 over­due in­spec­tions from 9608 re­quired.

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