All of us realise the importance of pool safety, especially given that drowning is the lead cause of deaths for children aged between one to four years.
Accordingly, all pool owners in Queensland will be required to comply with the current pool safety standard (QDC MP 3.4 and the Australian Standard (AS) 1926-2007 Parts 1 and 2 as modified by the QDC) from 30 November 2015, or risk facing significant financial penalties of up to $19,437 for individuals and $97,185 for corporations.
Although the current pool safety standard (standard) was introduced back in December 2010, many pool owners have not yet been affected by the changes because the standard was designed to be phased in over a number of years. The pool safety standard provided a grace period for pool owners to delay compliance with the current safety standard until the 30th November 2015, provided they did not sell or lease the property prior to that date (in which case the current safety standard was required to be complied with earlier).
Accordingly, it is important for all pool owners to be aware that the five year grace period in respect of compliance with the current pool safety standard is due to expire on 30 November 2015, and on that date all pools in Queensland must comply with the current safety standard.
The current standard covers various aspects of pools and surroundings including fencing, gates, latches, non-climbable zones, child-resistant doors and cardiopulmonary resuscitation signs. It is the pool owner’s responsibility to ensure that their pool is compliant with the standard.
A licensed pool safety inspector can be engaged to inspect a pool and, if found to be compliant with the current standards, issue a Form 23 – Pool Safety Certificate. A Pool Safety Certificate is generally only required to be issued when selling, buying, leasing or entering into a different type of accommodation agreement for a property which has a pool. However, it would be prudent for a pool owner to obtain a Pool Safety Certificate (or ensure that one has been issued previously for their pool) to ensure that their pool is compliant with the standards, regardless of whether they are selling, buying, leasing or entering into a different type of accommodation agreement for a property which has a pool.
It is also a legislative requirement that all pools in Queensland are registered with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), failing which, pool owners could face a penalty of up to $2,356. It is free to register a pool and you can check if your pool is registered by visiting the QBCC website on the following link:
We would suggest that all pool owners take care to ensure that their pool is compliant with the current safety standards prior to 30 November 2015 to avoid significant financial penalties. In addition to ensuring that your pool is compliant, we would also suggest that it is a good time for you to review the QBCC register, and make sure that your pool is registered with the QBCC.
If you require legal advice from our experienced and professional team of Gold Coast lawyers, then please contact our office on 07 5563 8970 today to arrange a consultation.