As you are aware, new laws for pool safety, including spas, came into effect on 1 December 2010 for Queensland pool owners in the aim of reducing incidents of drowning and serious immersion injuries among young children in swimming pools.
Previously, pool owners were required to ensure a pool was enclosed with compliant fencing regardless of when the pool was built. However, changes to the Building Act now require owners of a premises with a pool to obtain safety and compliance certificates from their local council or privately certified pool inspector.
The new laws require pool owners to undertake compulsory pool inspections and obtain safety certificates, with fines of up to $16,500 for instances of non-compliance.
The laws also have provision for the compliance of pool fencing for indoor pools, hotel, motel and caravan park pools, as well as requiring fencing for portable pools deeper than 300mm.
Through the compliance and certificate program the government is working to establish the State’s first swimming pool register with greater powers of entry for local government organisations to undertake compliance inspections.
A spokesman for Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Stirling Hinchliffe said pools would be inspected by councils and privately certified pool inspectors, with inspections costing the resident approximately $90.
Since Queensland first introduced pool safety laws in 1991, the number of child drownings in the state has halved. The new legislation aims to reduce this number even further.
What the laws mean to you…
If you are buying a property with a pool, ensure the seller has a valid compliance certificate – compliant pools can cost much more than the price of an inspection when deemed not up to standard.
An owner must provide a prospective buyer or tenant with a copy of the pool safety certificate.
Bodies Corporate must ensure that they have a valid compliance certificate in their records that is updated on an annual basis.