Pool owners face stricter safety laws in NSW4-January-2013 General By Mark Streeter
With summer in full swing, backyard swimming pools are again a focus for families. But many pool owners are not aware of the new responsibilities they face this year with the implementation of new pool safety laws.
These new laws will require more than 300,000 pool owners in NSW to register their pool on a new State Government register and ensure it complies with state safety regulations. While this may be an inconvenience and extra expense for some home owners, it may also save lives, and reduce the number of drowning deaths in backyard pools.
With drowning being is the leading cause of accidental deaths in very young children in NSW, these amendments to the Swimming Pools Act 1992 should enhance the safety of children in homes with backyard swimming pools.
The Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 will be implemented in four stages:
- the development and implementation of the Swimming Pools Register to commence by 29 April 2013;
- registration by pool owners of pools between 29 April and 29 October 2013;
- inspection programs to be developed by local councils commencing by 29 October 2013;
- mandatory inspection by councils of pools associated with the sale or lease of a property commencing no later than 29 April 2014.
Pool owners will be required to state that, to the best of their knowledge, their pool complies with the standards. Failure to register a pool will incur a penalty of $220.
From 29 April 2014, pool owners will be required to provide a valid swimming pool compliance certificate before being able to sell or lease a property with a pool. Compliance certificates are valid for three years and cost no more than $70.
Pool owners or tenants of properties with a pool should contact their local council to check if their pool meets the necessary safety standards.
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