New pool regulations getting closer

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

New regulations by the Victorian Government will be coming into force under a raft of new safety measures to ensure existing and new pool and spa barriers are maintained in accordance with the relevant standards. 

Moira Shire Council’s Municipal Building Surveyor Peter Phillips said these measures from the Victorian Government will be introduced in an effort to reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents among children aged five and under in private pools and spas. 

“At this stage the Victorian Government intends to commence these new requirements on December 1, 2019,” Mr Phillips said. 

“There are currently between 1,800 and 2,000 pools and spas throughout the municipality and while this is state government legislation, council officers will be tasked to ensure that all affected property owners comply with the new requirements with high monetary penalties for non-compliance.” 

Mr Phillips said even though the regulations were still in a draft format, if implemented in their current form, it would require Moira Shire Council to further enhance its existing Pool and Spa Register. 

“This will ensure all properties that contain a pool and/or spa are registered, that owners have submitted within the required time limits a ‘certificate of compliance’,” he said. 

“It will also ensure that affected property owners are advised of the relevant standard applicable to the appropriate barrier construction and the timing for the submission of the ‘certificate of compliance’.” 

Property owners will be required to formally apply to be recorded on council’s register and pay a fee, which is set by the Victorian Government. 

“Owners must also organise for an inspection of the pool or spa barriers by a qualified person to issue a certificate,” Mr Phillips said. 

“If the barriers do not comply, the qualified person undertaking the inspection must issue a non-compliance certificate and advise council immediately. 

“It is envisaged that initial registration of all pools and spas will be required by April 2020.” 

The Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria is expecting inspection certificates for all pools built before 1994 to be lodged by October 30, 2020.  For pools built between 1994 and 2010, owners will have until April 30, 2021, with all pools built after 2010 requiring to be certified by October 29, 2021. 

Councils will charge pool and spa owners a maximum of $20 to lodge their inspection compliance certificates, a process they will be required to undertake just once every three years.   The new requirements also state that households will be given 20 days to bring their pools into compliance if an inspector identifies any safety concerns. 

Further information will be available via Moira Shire Council’s website as it becomes available from the Victorian Government.