Big tick for City over pool safety
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.